Since when do NBA players wear sleeves?

Eastern Conference LeBron James #6 of Miami Heat slam dunks the ball against the Western Conference during 2014 NBA All-Star game at the Smoothie King Center on February 16, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The East defeated the West 163-155.

If you caught this year's NBA All-Star Game, you would of course have seen the East win 163 to 155. But you would have also seen shirts with sleeves.

No usual tank-top-style jerseys. These are slightly tighter -- more like something a soccer player wears.

"If there's anyone to credit or blame depending on what side you're on...it would be Ricks Welts," says Alicia Jessop, sports business reporter for Forbes and the Huffington Post.

She says Welts, current President and COO of the Golden State Warriors, has been public about bringing sleeve jerseys court side. In fact, the Warriors were the first NBA team to début them.

According to Jessop, the NBA's 11-year apparel deal with Adidas may also be the reason for the shoulder coverage.

"Whenever a league, a team, or an apparel company does something new and innovative, you know that at the end of the day, what they're trying to do is drive revenue," she says.

So can we expect sponsor's names on the extra cloth?

"Absolutely," says Jessop, who would rather see the players in short sleeves.

And apparently the public, and many players, are in agreement with her:

About the author

Lizzie O'Leary is the new host of Marketplace Weekend.

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