Nike vows to make significant changes to address alarming string of torn NBA jerseys
LeBron James got his jersey ripped in the middle right in the Cavs season opening win over the Celtics. AP

WITH five public cases of ripped jerseys this early in the NBA season, official league outfitter Nike admitted that the initial product needs some significant changes, particularly in enhancing seam strength, to stop the jersey tear spree.

In the first season of an 8-year, $1 billion deal with the NBA, Nike’s new jerseys have figured in an alarming trend of getting ripped easily. LA Lakers’ Tyler Ennis was the first victim in the preseason, before Cleveland Cavaliers’ star LeBron James got his jersey ripped in the season opener.

Nike president and CEO Mark Parker brushed off the incident more than a week later, saying to a CNBC interview that they have ‘isolated the issue.’ But the trend didn’t end, with both Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green and Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal ending up with ripped jerseys in a scuffle.

Last week, Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons had his jersey torn after a rebound battle, while Cavs forward Kevin Love ripped his uniform as he pulled it over his head.

With the alarming frequency, Nike finally admitted a flaw in their product and are working on a solution to the situation.

“Nike has always put the athlete at the center of everything we do and we have worked hard to create the most advanced uniforms in the history of the NBA. They are lighter and deliver great mobility and sweat wicking characteristics, and the feedback from players has been overwhelmingly positive,” the sports apparel giant said in a statement to ESPN on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time).

“However, during game play we have seen a small number of athletes experience significant jersey tears. We are very concerned to see any game day tear and are working to implement a solution that involves standardizing the embellishment process and enhancing the seam strength of game day jerseys. The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance and we are working with the NBA and teams to avoid this happening in the future,” continued Nike’s statement.

The cases of torn NBA jerseys have been criticized on social media but ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported that there have been no reported customer complaints from buyers.

A similar version of the Nike-made NBA jerseys, partly made from recycled bottles, have been used in the 2016 Rio Olympics without any incident of getting ripped or torn.

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