As news broke last night of LeBron James taking his talents to L.A., it was interesting to see how various media outlets depicted him in a Lakers uniform on their home pages and social media platforms.
ESPN, for example, took the odd approach of Photoshopping James into a yellow jersey from the pre-Nike era, complete with the old-style wishbone collar, no maker’s mark, and no ad patch. Also, the image was cropped so that the uniform number wasn’t visible:
Over at SI, they put James in a current purple jersey, including the maker’s mark and ad patch. Interestingly, they gave him No. 6, perhaps out of deference to guard Gary Payton II, who currently wears No. 23 for the Lakers:
Bleacher Report had no such issues with Payton, as they showed James wearing No. 23, in purple:
Bleacher Report also tweeted a bunch of images, such as this Photoshopped shot that shows James wearing a yellow No. 23 Lakers uni with the Nike maker’s mark but no ad patch:
Rivalry back. pic.twitter.com/bPxz7olIks
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 2, 2018
They also had this image of James wearing an old uniform with the NBA logo on the front of the jersey — something that hasn’t been seen on the court since the 2013-14 season:
The King exits Cleveland. pic.twitter.com/hMKJbny8YF
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 2, 2018
NBA.com had James in a current yellow uniform, with the appropriate maker’s mark and ad patch, and No. 23:
Over at The Ringer, they put James in purple, but they hedged on the uniform number:
Spectrum SportsNet, the cable channel the carries the Lakers in L.A., apparently couldn’t decide which number to assign to James, so they tweeted a shot of him in an odd-looking numberless Lakers jersey:
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) July 2, 2018
The weirdest approach came from Colin Cowherd’s radio show’s Twitter account, which put James in an Adidas-era Lakers jersey with an Adidas maker’s mark — something that never appeared on the court.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) July 2, 2018
There were also many media outlets that simply ran recent wire photos of James in a Cavs uni. Nothing wrong with that, of course, although it’s less interesting from a Uni Watch perspective.
Update, 7:55am: Reader Mitchell Wittman has shared images from a bunch of newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times, which put James in a yellow No. 23 uniform:
The Los Angeles Daily News took a bizarre approach, showing a hybrid jersey with the wrong collar, no maker’s mark or ad patch, and the Cavs’ number font:
The New York Daily News put him in a pre-2014-15 uniform, with the NBA logo on the front of the jersey:
(My thanks to Coach KT for the Cowherd tweet.)
Click to slightly enlarge
Throwing in the towel: As you may have heard, the heat and humidity were pretty brutal in Chicago for Saturday’s Twins/Cubs game — so brutal that three Twins players had to leave the game with heat-related illnesses. And so brutal that home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstadt, as you can see above, draped a wet towel around his neck for a few innings. I’m fairly certain that’s the first time I’ve ever seen an ump do that.
I imagine there’s someone out there who thinks the towel looks unprofessional or something, but I say give Wendelstadt a break. Working the plate on a hot day is no picnic. Still, I’d prefer to see the umps using a blue, unbranded towel instead of the kind with the ubiquitous Gatorade ad.
For those of you out there who umpire at various levels: Have you ever done this? Would you ever consider doing it? Would you be permitted to do it?
(My thanks to Ted Zeigler for the screen shot.)
By Jamie Rathjen
Baseball News: Yesterday was Canada Day, so the Blue Jays wore their red alternate jerseys with this year’s Canada Day caps, which feature a gold maple leaf on the crown and the American League logo on the side. … All other MLB teams will begin wearing their stars/stripes caps and jerseys today, and will continue to wear them tomorrow and Wednesday. … Here’s a look at some of the Giants’ bat decals (from @LarenMR). … My brother Nate Rathjen sent us this graphic of the jerseys worn at the time of clinching by the past 20 NCAA champions. … The Missoula Osprey, a Diamondbacks affiliate, wore Missoula Timberjacks throwbacks Saturday (from K.C. Kless). … The independent Gary SouthShore RailCats got new uniforms mid-season (from @DavidMKerr).
Football News: Lots happened at the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Humboldt Broncos tribute game against the Montréal Alouettes. The coin flip was done with a Broncos puck, some Roughriders players wore green and yellow cleats, and Roughriders mascot Gainer the Gopher wore a Broncos jersey (from Wade Heidt). … Also posted in soccer: Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium is to host NFL games on a different surface than that used for soccer. The football field already has the NFL logo painted at midfield, but no other interior lines.
College Football News: In the 1980s, some North Carolina players received an “iron man” helmet sticker consisting of “Fe” — the chemical symbol for iron — and the symbol of Mars, both of which you can see in the corner of this picture (from James Gilbert). … Virginia’s orange alternates, which are returning this season after a one-year hiatus, have a different inner-collar slogan than the blue jerseys.
Hockey News: Also posted in football: The coin flip at the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Humboldt Broncos tribute game against the Montréal Alouettes was done with a Broncos puck, and Roughriders mascot Gainer the Gopher wore a Broncos jersey (from Wade Heidt). … New Canadiens winger Max Domi said he’ll wear No. 13 in Montreal as a tribute to, ironically, longtime Maple Leafs center Mats Sundin, as Domi’s previous No. 16 is retired by the Habs (from Mike Engle).
Soccer News: New kits for the Premier League’s Leicester City (second kit), the English Championship’s Norwich City (first) and Sheffield United (first shirt), League One’s Coventry City (first and second), Northern Irish team Linfield (second), and Portuguese teams Benfica (first and second) and Braga (second). … Norwich’s shirt was inspired by what is only known as the bird poop shirt, originally worn from 1992-94 and recently revived as a white version in 2016. … Sheffield United’s shirt is solid white on the back, something league-mates Brentford indicated was Adidas’s decision for the UK teams it outfits that wear stripes. Besides those two, other teams fitting that category include Sunderland and possibly Hamilton Academical, if hoops count. … Croatia and Denmark both changed at the World Cup (from Moe Khan). … On Saturday, Argentina striker Sergio Agüero accidentally had a glorious V-neck (from @Enoch11). … Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium is to host NFL games on a different surface than that used for soccer. The football field already has the NFL logo painted at midfield, but no other interior lines.
Grab Bag: Georgia Tech officially switched to Adidas from Russell Athletic yesterday (thanks, Paul). … The sink drains at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport have tiny airplanes built in (from Joseph Andersen). … Here’s a uni-notable image of American cyclist Greg LeMond wearing gloves patterned after the world champion’s rainbow jersey — LeMond won that title twice — with what appears to be an incarnation of the Tour de France’s combination jersey behind him.