How to distinguish NBA Basketball Jerseys Replicas Swingmans & Authentics

Posted by libby hanhan on

Basketball is one of my Favorite Sports of all time. Growing up in Los Angeles, I've been a Huge Lakers fan ever since the Showtime Lakers of Magic Johnson, Kareem, James Worthy, and Byron Scott. I've been spoiled to watch them win many Championships and have Great Great Players. Today I'm a big Kobe Bryant fan, even though the team with coach Mike D'Antoni is really embarrassing this year. Lets not talk about it...Anyhow, I love Basketball jerseys from Brands such as Champion, Puma, Reebok, Adidas and Nike. I honestly think that the fit for today's jerseys are a bit bigger than they used to be. Reebok and Adidas make them a size bigger than what the their size indicates. When you bought NBA Basketball jerseys in the early 90's to early 2000, Brands such as Nike, Champion, and Puma had the perfect fit. This is just my opinion, but I think Basketball jerseys in the early 90's to early 2000 had better craftsmanship and quality to them. As the saying goes: "They don't make them like they used to." On this guide, I'm going to talk about 3 levels of NBA Basketball jerseys: Replicas, Swingmans, and Authentics. This can distinguish a buyer from what the real players wear on the courts to just being casual. Also, this will avoid confusions in what to look for in Ebay auctions or when you're jersey shopping. So here we go. 
Replicas are generally the lowest grade of NBA jerseys. The numbers and letters of the player are screen printed on and are not patched. They range from $40-$50 retail. The old school jerseys from the 1990's to early 2000 were generally made by Champion. Those are now collectors item and can sell very high on Ebay, just depending on the player. The Fabric on Replica jerseys are generally thinner and cheaper Nylon to Polyester. The jerseys will always have the Brand Logo on the upper sleeve area of whomever manufactured it such as Champion. Here are a couple sample pictures of Replica jerseys below. 
Notice the shiny flimsy numbers and letters of the screen print. Let us now move onto discussing Swingman jerseys. 
Swingman Jersey: 
Swingman Jerseys are one step below the Authentic ones that the Pro Players wear onto the courts. The Player name and number are sewn on and made to look like the real deal. Jersey material can be made of mesh or have tiny holes for air ventilation. They range in prices from $70-$90 at retail stores. The way to distinguish them from the real Authentic jerseys is looking to see if the top sleeve area has the Brand Manufacturing logo of say Nike, Reebok, Adidas, etc. If it does and the jersey is patched, then you are looking at a swingman jersey. The patches of these jerseys are thinner and flimsier than their Authentic counterparts. Alot of the patches fade easily when you put them in the washer. Authentic jerseys will never have that problem, since the patches are of higher quality. Below are some sample pictures of swingman jerseys. 
You see how the patches are not as detailed and the Brand logo on the top left sleeve area of the jersey. Authentic jerseys will never and I repeat NEVER have any Manufacturing Brand logo on the sleeve area except the NBA logo. 
Authentic Jersey: 
Authentic Jerseys are the real deal on what NBA players wear on the courts. The patches on these jerseys are a lot thicker than swingman jerseys. Also, there is no Manufacturing Brand anywhere in the sleeve areas. The newer ones are developed by Adidas called Revolution 360. These jerseys use a lighter Techfit and Climacool technology to them. Authentic jerseys generally cost between $200-$300 at stores. Manufacturer Mitchell & Ness generally sells the Throwback versions of these NBA jerseys. A lot of the Authentic jerseys are counterfeited from Asia and made to look like the real thing. However, you can just tell by the fit and material of Fakes. They tend to be cheaper in material, patches are not as defined, and alot of times the fake Authentics will have the Manufacturing Brand logos on the sleeve areas. That's a dead giveaway. So Beware! If it looks kind of cheesy, chances are you're looking at a FAKE! Below are some pictures of Authentic NBA jerseys. 
Look at the craftsmanship and details of the patch. The bottom tags should say "Authentics" on them with the NBA logo. The Patches of the letters and Player numbers is thicker and sewn with perfection. The material is generally Dri-Fit and a lot more detailed than the swingman. So there you have it, the top 3 tiers of NBA jerseys from what I've observed through my experience. If you ever have any questions, feel free to drop by my store at :  and message me. Thanks again for viewing my Review. 

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