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How Did Media Outlets Show LeBron in a Lakers Uni Last Night?

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:

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: 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:

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.

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.)

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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.)

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The Ticker
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.

Comments (45)

    Those Missoula Timberjack uniforms are very nice. I’ll have to go look for a closer view of the cap.

    As for the ump, I’ve actually seen umps draping ice packs behind their chest protectors and around their necks.

    And just fyi, one of the ads (I think the big ‘consumable’ banner at the bottom) is actually prompting my browser to save a file. I’ve worked around it, but I didn’t know if that was something within the normal operation of the ad.

    I referee youth soccer in Georgia, where it’s been known to be a bit hot and muggy for most of the year.

    My MIL found some kind of a cooling towel that retains the cold temperature for a while after being left in ice water. I wear it under my referee shirts. My wife’s employer provides a similar neck wrap that I have used also. I do try to make sure it’s not all that visible.

    I didn’t get to watch the Twins game. I am wondering, what did the towel do when the ump got into the crouching position? Did it wave back and worth at all? If so, I wonder if the movement was distracting for the pitcher?

    I umpire for Perfect Game, High School in Georgia and also Collegiate (mostly D-II schools). When it gets to be summer time and the humidity in GA takes over for the 4-5 games a day we have, I always use something similar(frog tog) around my neck and I usually tuck it underneath my chest protector. Honestly, not a fan of it being outside the shirt/chest protector-however you have to do whatever will keep you from passing out. Two or three plates a day will get pretty hot for anyone, so whatever the case is- sometimes you just have to take care of you, no matter what it takes.

    I remember umping behind the plate 4 evenings in a row in 90+ temperatures. Luckily the games were only seven innings. I didn’t even consider putting a wet towel around my neck during the game. I don’t think it would have been allowed. It may have been ok between innings, but not during the game. I remember catching a doubleheader in 100 degrees in American Legion ball. Again, luckily the games were only seven innings. But it was brutal.

    Hotspur’s NFL field appears to be artificial surface. It looks like they are in the process of cutting in the lines and logos – look at the top left of the NFL shield.

    Didn’t mention it, but yes, it is artificial. The soccer surface isn’t.

    Exactly. They can wheel in a new stadium floor like they can do for U of Phoenix stadium in Glendale and for Bayern Munich’s home ground.

    The artificial turf NFL field stays in place. They have a retractable surface with real grass for when Spurs play.

    I was at a Yanks-O’s game in 1999 on a brutally hot day, in which Greg Kosc “went to the towel” very early on. The towel itself wasn’t controversial but the Yanks had a lot of complaints about the strike zone, as they felt Kosc expanded it in order to move the game along. Jorge Posada complained later about Kosc being unable to handle the heat because he was out of shape.


    I Umpire little league in central Texas in the summers. There’s a few guys who bring coolers and leave them by the dugout. They always keep cold water and some snacks in there, and a few towels for between innings, but I have never worn one during play.

    Kudos for the wordmark style on the 2000 LSU team. That said, both wordmarks are incorrect. Both of those “Tigers” wordmarks are hard to replicate, but they’re both wrong.

    One thing about those photoshop jobs – most of them look really rough!

    Looks like in the second Bleacher Report image, they left LeBron’s legs and feet in Cavs colors. Or is that just my imagination?

    Noticed that the Jays went all-in on the Canada Day unis, including red helmets with the Maple Leaf. No comment from Tavares on the uniforms, however.

    The red jersey is an official alternate for them, complete with its own cap and batting helmet (both of which have a red maple leaf). But the alternate cap was supplanted yesterday by the holiday cap, which has a gold maple leaf. They did not put a gold maple leaf on the batting helmets, however — just the standard alternate helmet with the red leaf.

    Yep – it is an official alternate. When the “Canadiana” red alternate was unveiled in 2017, it described they would be worn for “select games this season (2017) and beyond”.

    The Uni Watch community may remember, initially was worn for every Sunday home at the start of 2017. Then they quit wearing them as they were deemed unlucky.


    Though still an official alternate, they have been basically relegated to being just the Canada Day uniform. Yesterday was the first time they were worn by the Blue Jay this season.

    And they promptly lost to a team that had been on its worst losing streak in fifteen years.

    Guessing the red jerseys will be going back into the closet for the rest of the year.

    I noticed in the photo accompanying the article on the Canada Day jerseys/unis, that the player had on spike that were adorned with a blue field and white stars, similar to the US flag. Surprised to see this in lieu of red spikes, a red field with maples leaves instead of stars, or some other Canada related motif.

    My wife gave me the Yankees S&S and ASG caps over the weekend as an early birthday gift. A couple of pleasant surprises:

    The S&S team logo is embroidered. I had just assumed it would be a stick on like it was last year. It looks nice. Also, the AL patch is actually embroidered into the cap. A nice change of pace ( although I’d probably like it better with no patch at all).


    As was speculated yesterday, Roger Federer has a new clothing deal with Uniqlo. Wore it in his first round match at The Championships this morning. Still had Nike shoes. RF merchandise on Nike website already discounted.


    Try adding a bit of menthol rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle of water. Don’t get it in your eyes but a good spritz on the face, neck, and arms helps.

    I am SO DONE with all this Stars & Stripes bullshit, especially when it comes to teams that don’t have red and blue as part of their color scheme.
    I WAS looking forward to the Tuesday-Wednesday Interleague match up between the A”s and Padres – since the Pads only come to Oakland once every 3 years – but am going to forgo it.
    I thought the purpose of Interleague was so that fans could see the teams (AND PRESUMABLY UNIFORMS) that they don’t normally get to see in league play.
    MLB, please stop the insanity. One game maybe, but not the whole damn series!

    Several weeks ago there was note that the MLB pulled ballcaps due to the historically inaccurate “We The People…” constitution preamble on their Fourth Of July merch. Happy to report that as of about a week and a half ago, at least outside AT&T in San Francisco, said ballcaps were on sale at greatly reduced discounts.
    Scoop em up folks…two documents for the price of one.

    Me too! I turned Natinals-Red Sox on and as soon as I saw the uniforms I turned it off.

    What a joke.

    Yesterday, after the NASCAR race in Chicago, Kyle Busch emerged from his car and pulled what appeared to be an ice pack from inside the crotch area of his fire suit and then promptly discarded it on the track. Temperatures in the cars were over 150 degrees as shown on a thermometer attached to the seat of one of the drivers.

    Hopefully with LeBron selecting a uniform/team, we won’t have to hear about him, daily, on the sports shows in the US.

    I’m watching Tigers @ Jays. Why the frak is Detroit wearing RED S&S gear? Isn’t navy blue, you know, their normal color?

    Jon, Jon — surely by now you know there’s no point in expecting anything rational from the stars/stripes costumes!

    If there’s a positive with MLB’s 4th of July uniforms, it’s that the Tigers road uniforms don’t have that annoying tacky white outline.

    I look forward to tomorrows lede about how Canadian papers mocked up John Tavares as a Leaf.

    If John Tavares had announced an intent to sign with Toronto before he could do so under his CBA, if he had another number that he seemed to like, and if there were a handful of alternates to pick from, then yes I’m sure the Canadian media would have engaged in Photoshopping. But that’s not the case. As is, he took pictures with the standard blue jersey with his 91 that was available and that he chose, so not too many Photoshop questions. I love hockey and I wish it were covered better, but it simply wasn’t a Uni Watch story. The LeBron saga did become a story though.

    Pretty sure that the B/R pic of LBJ walking through Cavs is actually Kobe’s body with LBJ’s head attached…

    Is it just me or is the flag on the sleeves backwards. Shouldn’t the stars be on the left?

    While you are right, I still disagree with it. A person is not a flagpole or mast or whatever one wants to call it, nor is the patch an actual flag. It is a representation to be viewed. Therefore I believe it should be viewed with the field of blue in the upper left. It’s always a bit jarring to see it “ backwards”.

    Proofreading. Wendelstedt is the correct spelling of the last name of the umpire.

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