Basketball might not be the first sport you associate with Australia, but trends are certainly changing. The rising popularity in recent years has seen dozens of players scoring lucrative contracts in some of the biggest clubs worldwide. The Boomers squad is filled with NBA stars, and with the bronze picked up at the last Olympics, Aussie basketball has reached heights never seen before. Homegrown talent, like guards Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova, measure up against giants in that position, most notably Stephen Curry. This has inspired many young and upcoming stars to also put in the hard work.
Though most of us shooting hoops will never make it to the NBA, or the Olympics for that matter, we’ll always be fans of the sport. And we’ll want the gear that makes our basketball idols what they are. Donning the right gear just makes the game more enjoyable. Both playing and watching it. Jerseys are high on anyone’s wish list. You can get them from current players, like a Steph Curry jersey, former NBA and Boomers greats, or any player that defines your playing style. The best part is that jerseys and any basketball garments aren’t restricted to the court. You can wear them in any casual scene, and they fit perfectly with our long summers.
Adidas held the manufacturing rights to official NBA jerseys until 2017, when Nike took over the show. These are the authentic jerseys worn by the players themselves. They’re made of recycled polyester and feature what Nike calls AeroSwift technology, being lightweight, breathable and quick to absorb moisture. Names, numbers and logos are embroidered. An Authentic Steph Curry jersey, for example, will bear the Golden State Warriors logo and player number upfront, the Nike logo in the top right corner and an official NBA tag at the lower left side. At the back, the official NBA logo straddles the centre neckline, the players’ surname, and an enlarged “30”. Home jerseys are set against a blue background with yellow embroidery, while away jerseys are white.
You’d be hard-pressed to find authentic player jerseys, so companies make the next best thing- the Swingman jersey. These are readily available replicas of the real thing, and what fans go for. They too are polyester offerings, though logos, names and numbers aren’t embroidered but are pre-cut and heat-pressed. You also miss out on the AeroSwift tech. Nevertheless, these provide a comfortable fit on the court or out on the street. They’re also considerably cheaper.
Besides Nike, older jerseys are still available from Adidas as well as Mitchell and Ness. You can find quality jerseys from former players in a Swingman configuration for much less than current jerseys. Mitchell and Ness step things up a notch to offer authentic jerseys in their Harwood Classics Throwback line from former greats like Jordan, O’Neal and Bryant. These though will set you back a pretty penny.
If you’re feeling patriotic, there’s always the Boomers jerseys. They’re also good quality, coming from local brand iAthletic and slightly cheaper than NBA Swingman jerseys.
What to Look for in Basketball Jerseys
How the jersey fits will affect your comfort levels and confidence while playing. Too large a jersey will feel awkward at least. Too small or tight puts you at a disadvantage with less freedom to move. Men’s sizes of Swingman’s jersey are available in Small to 3XL, so you’re bound to find one that’s right. There are slight differences in terms of length between Swingman and Authentic jerseys. Both are slim fit, but the Swingman jerseys come in slightly longer. If you’re on the stockier side of things, there are also the big and tall sizes to choose from. Women’s jerseys are available from X- Small to XXL. There are also toddler and children’s jerseys to get the whole family vibe at a game. Mitch and Ness are more flexible with sizing and you’ll find a jersey no matter how big or small you are.
If you’re wearing a jersey as a casual dress, it’s always a good idea to go for one or two sizes larger. This is especially true when wearing it over T-shirts or other clothing. Choosing the right jersey is like choosing other sporting garments. Here are a few tips when buying.
Spotting a Fake
Jerseys are high-end fan garments that demand a premium. They’re also made by upscale sports brands like Nike and Adidas in recent NBA jerseys, and Reebok was endowed with the production rights before both these brands. As such, they’ll feature the brand logos, the NBA logos and tabs in the correct places, and made of high-end polyester and materials sporting the newest tech for the best fit and comfort during the game. They’ll be no fraying, or loose embroidery, as each item is quality checked before put to sale. If you come by a cheap knock-off at half the price, odds are it’s a fake. Supporting your favourite team or player does come at a price, but money comes second to your passion. Search for jerseys online, or seek them out in retail stores. Always try one on to get the right fit.