OAKLAND -- About 10 minutes into Adidas' pitch about an innovative new uniform with sleeves, Warriors' co-owner Peter Guber had seen enough.
"I went 'Wow!' " Guber said of the August 2011 meeting. "It was a very profound change. And I think Adidas presenting it to us and giving us the option to be the first one to do this demonstrates our willingness to be inventive."
On Monday, the Warriors unveiled their yellow, alternate uniforms. They will be the first team in the modern NBA era to play in something other than a tank top.
The Warriors will debut the new unis for their Feb. 22 home game against the San Antonio Spurs, which is being aired on ESPN. They will also wear them March 8 vs. Houston and March 15 vs. Chicago.
If Adidas has its way, the new look will be a growing trend.
"It was the right moment, the right team," said Lawrence Norman, Adidas' vice president of global basketball. "Even more important, the right city. When you launch something as innovative as this -- that will change the way the players look on the court and the way the fans support the team forever -- why not launch it in the most innovative part of the United States?"
The new jersey is much less a T-shirt than the next phase in the evolution of basketball apparel.
It's being called the "adizero NBA short sleeve uniform system." And Adidas boasts it as a revolutionary marriage between performance and aesthetics.
The uniforms are 26 percent lighter than their traditional counterparts, which Adidas said its research revealed was most important to players. They come with the ever-popular moisture-absorbing feature. The sleeves are made with stretch fabric that wraps 360 degrees around the shoulder to ensure full range of motion, because anyone who has played basketball knows how a T-shirt's sleeve can interfere with a jumper.
The shorts -- which have pinstripes inspired by the Bay Bridge -- have been modernized, too. The stretch woven fabric, pricked with thousands of holes, make the bottoms as lightweight and airy as ever.
Bay Area fans will love this part: the uniform is made with 60 percent recycled material.
The Warriors and Adidas, the official provider of NBA uniforms since 2006, worked together for more than a year to bring this concept to life. Several players tested them during their offseason and the Warriors have gone through full practices in them.
"I think it will be a trendsetter," rookie forward Harrison Barnes said. "I think its something it will take people a little bit of time to get used to, but once they do it'll be good. As long as I'm able to shoot and move, that's all that matters."
Representatives from the Warriors and Adidas say they have gotten nothing but positive feedback from the performance end.
The only remaining question is the reception of fans and the basketball community.
Will people take to a shirt jersey? Is this a gimmick waiting to be rejected?
"In the early '90s, I was part of the transition from short shorts to longer shorts," said Warriors president Rick Welts, who established a reputation as a pioneer in his decades working in the NBA office.
"We certainly heard from a lot of basketball traditionalists that short shorts were sacrosanct to the basketball uniforms the way they should be. I'm not foolish enough to think some won't think we're messing with tradition. But I think it's going to be really well received. Over time, I wouldn't be surprised if every team has one."
This jersey was designed with the fan in mind.
The rationale is having a full shirt as the team's jersey allows people to represent their team in more settings. Unlike soccer, baseball and football, basketball uniforms are limited, from a fashion perspective, because they are sleeveless.
The "swingman" jerseys will run about $110, about $40 more than the traditional replicas. The authentic versions will be $300. Both will be available for pre-order at NBA.com and warriorsteamstore.com starting Monday.
Golden State is already in the top 10 in merchandise sales, according to Welts. If fans take to the new alternate jersey, the franchise could see a boon.
"We didn't do this for the sales," Welts said. "This is all about the image of the franchise and being forward."
Welts tried to get the NBA to adopt a short-sleeve jersey once before. In 1985, he saw an opportunity for a ground-breaking uniform with Patrick Ewing coming into the NBA. The Georgetown star was known for wearing a T-shirt under his jersey, sparking quite the trend.
The NBA didn't, and still doesn't, allow players to wear sleeved shirts beneath their jersey. So Welts and then-deputy commissioner Russ Granik worked with MacGregor Sand-Knit, then the NBA's outfitter, to make a sleeved uniform.
"Frankly, with the technology available, we couldn't make it work," Welts said. "It was a lost opportunity. It's taken, what, 28 years to finally do it."
Today's athletes prefer something fitted and comfortable, anything that gives any type of edge. As a result, compression shirts have become a staple in sports apparel. NBA players practice in them and many wear tank versions under their uniforms.
"It's a unique step forward for our product," said Sal LaRocca, the NBA's executive vice president of global merchandising. "There is always an ongoing directive in any company in sports apparel to continue innovating and enhancing. There have been constant developments in sports performance and teams invest millions of dollars in providing things that help players perform better."
This trend inspired Adidas to investigate a short-sleeve jersey idea a couple of years ago.
Golden State, which launched a new logo and uniform at the start of the 2010-11 season, was in the market for an alternate uniform. And Norman, an avid basketball fan and pick-up enthusiast, said he has come to know the Warriors' ownership group as innovative.
In his mind, the collaboration seemed perfect. His instinct was confirmed when Guber and the Warriors jumped at the chance.
"He stopped us midstream," Norman said. "It was the coolest thing. I get chills thinking about it. He just stopped us and was like, 'We are in. Let's make this happen. This is going to be huge.' He just recognized it right away, as if it were a 30-second Hollywood pitch and he only need 10 seconds"