What's that "sleeve" worn by Carmelo Anthony (and others)?

What’s that sleeve thing that ‘melo (et al) wears? What’s it for? What does it do? Why does he only wear it on one arm?

Sorry, I just can’t figure it out from looking at it. It doesn’t seem like a support or a brace or a wrap or tape job (e.g. taping an ankle for support), but if it conferred some sort of advantage then why wouldn’t he wear one on both arms? And why wouldn’t everyone wear them?


The reasons vary. Sometimes it’s supposedly for tendinitis or a similar condition. Other times, people wear them to cover tattoos.

Right, the NBA commissioner has strongly “requested” players with extensive tattoos to cover them up, in the cause of the league’s image. Allan Iverson wears what amounts to a body stocking.

Carmelo’s temmates Chris Anderson, Kenyon Martin, and JR Smith have way more tattoos than Anthony. It’s called a shooting sleeve and lots of guys wear them. It is supposed to give support and keep the arm warm. Lots of questions as to whether it does those thing or not.

The idea that it is covering up gang tattoos is an urban legend.

That may be true but why do most players wear them on the off arm?

They’re probably just a fashion accesory - they like the way it looked on Allen Iverson and copied it. Most people say they don’t do anything anyway. I know I wouldn’t want anything that would crinkle up in my elbow while I was shooting.

It’s ostensibly a brace, but mostly it’s a fashion accessory. For a while players took to wearing them on their legs as well - Dwyane Wade was doing it, to name one - but the league cracked down on it.

It’s a compression sleeve. Iverson was the first to wear it that I can remember, and he did so following elbow surgery to support his arm. His is on his shooting arm. I believe Kobe and Nate Robinson wear them on their right arms as well. Carmelo had an elbow injury, but he wears his sleeve on his left arm, and the injury was to the right, so maybe he tried the sleeve and liked it but it interfered with his shot or something.

It’s mostly, and in many cases entirely, a fashion thing, but it’s essentially just a brace.