Cleveland's All-Black Uniforms Are A Thing That's Awesome In The NBA Playoffs

You can remember the moment as clear as day.

LeBron James, in a fit of frustration, tugging at his sleeved black uniform and eventually ripping the sleeves to liberate his biceps to give him the range of motion he so desired.

At that point, if you would've told me that the Cavaliers...heck, the entire NBA, would never wear those sleeved uniforms again, I would've believed it. To have the league's preeminent superstar take assault to the jersey provided to him by adidas in such a fashion, it felt like there was no coming back from it.

This wasn't the first callout by James regarding the sleeves, as he'd vented his frustrations about them as far back as 2014. However, it was clear that while the sleeves might've been an issue, the entire ensemble garnered his appreciation.

"I don't know, it might be mental, man. It's OK. The jerseys are nice. We love the jerseys. The black looks great. It's been awhile since this franchise has worn black. So it's great to be out there and wear those uniforms. I was in my own way. I was frustrated with my shot, I couldn't make a bucket, so like I said, I had to take it out on something." -- LeBron James, via ESPN in 2015

The all-black everything look would take on an iconic life of its own during the playoffs, as their run to the NBA Finals is seared into the record books with an epic block and a monumental step-back three-pointer.

The back to black movement is now fully embraced by the Cavs players, fans and the organization...even if the head coach isn't fully aware of when the favored alternate uniforms will make another appearance.

I didn't even know that," Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said via ESPN when asked about the jersey swap before Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals. "But they love those jerseys, but we still got to play. It doesn't make a difference on what jersey you wear. But they like those jerseys, but we got to be ready to play tonight and we will be."

The Cavaliers and their all-black uniforms aren't the first team to make a statement with their fashion, as the Indiana Pacers famously went with the bald heads and black basketball socks during the 2000 NBA Playoffs. Seemingly every hockey team who makes the playoffs do not shave at all until they're either eliminated or win the championship. Oh, and there was that one time where Carmelo Anthony decided to wear egregious hats during his playoff run with the New York Knicks.

For the first two games of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, the Cavaliers have adopted the all-black again versus the Indiana Pacers. LeBron delivered another impressive performance in Game 2 with an absurd 46 point, 12 rebound, 5 assist stat line as the Cavs needed all of it to squeak out a win.

Yes, we know that the uniforms don't bring any special magic to anyone, but try telling that to a member of the Cavs. For that reason, I love it, as it feels like the Cavaliers use the all-black as a crutch. Like, the Cavs are trying to reach back and grab some of their past glory to propel them forward. I wish more NBA teams had crutches like this.

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