Why the Lakers are barred from wearing their black uniforms for Pelicans game

The Los Angeles Lakers won’t be allowed to wear their black “city edition” uniforms for Thursday night’s semifinal game against the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA’s first in-season tournament.

According to ESPN, the NBA has barred the black unis because they create a difficult contrast with the league’s specialized court at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the site of the tournament’s final rounds.

The Lakers (13-9) are 4-0 while wearing their black uniforms this season and would prefer to wear them for the semifinal game, league sources said.

Instead, the Lakers will take the court in their gold “icon” jerseys.

“When one Lakers player was informed the team wouldn’t be allowed to wear black on Thursday, he replied, ‘That’s ass,'” ESPN reports.

Milwaukee plays Indiana in the East semifinal.

This initial in-season tournament is an opportunity for teams to hoist the league’s newest trophy, medals for each of the players on the champion team, along with bragging rights.

There are also big financial incentives.

Each player gets $500,000 for winning the title, $200,000 for making the final, $100,000 for reaching the semifinals and $50,000 for making the quarterfinals. There is one caveat: two-way players on those rosters only get half as much as those on standard contracts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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