Allen Iverson left his imprint on the NBA and basketball as a whole in a variety of ways. From his infamous “we’re talking about practice” rant, to his fearless playing style and unique crossover move, Iverson’s career impacted multitudes of basketball players.
One of the many ways that Allen Iverson affected the game was his use of an arm sleeve. Iverson was the first basketball player to wear an arm sleeve during a game (as pictured here) in 2001. Since then, it’s safe to say there has been a proliferation of arm sleeve usage at the grassroots, high school, college and professional levels.
So why exactly do basketball players wear sleeves? Are there actually competitive benefits to wearing them? Or did players simply want to look like Allen Iverson or oneof their other favorite NBA stars by wearing a sleeve?
Undoubtedly, basketball sleeves provide a litany of benefits to ball players. Let’s take a look at a few below.
Since basketball sleeves put pressure to your arm, compression sleeves will keep your muscles warm and help increase blood circulation in your arm. As well, some research has suggested that wearing compression gear can help reduce swelling and fatigue, and while more research is needed, that is a very encouraging finding.
Basketball arm sleeves will keep your arm warm, and as a general rule of thumb, the warmer your muscles are the more flexible you will be. Warm-up sleeves also help keep your arm at a consistent temperature, and due to their special material, they wick away moisture to ensure your arm can stay dry.
There’s nothing humorous about falling on your “funny bone” (cheesy pun intended). A padded basketball sleeve will protect your elbow should you fall hard to the floor, and overall, the sleeve will protect your entire arm from cuts, bumps and bruises.
Look Good, Play Good
There’s a reason Allen Iverson went onto the floor with a sleeve in 2001 –it looks cool! If you look good and feel good on the floor, it increases the chances you’ll play well.
And isn’t playing well the ultimate goal?