The unknown story behind NBA jersey number (IV)
With the NBA league and the players union agreeing, the countdown to the 2019-2020 NBA season has begun, and 22 playoff teams (including confirmed and potential teams) will gather in Orlando, Florida, to make up for this belated feast for basketball fans around the world at Disney.
Because this special “conference” game is held in Orlando’s famous Disney World, so some fans had the brainstorm to use Disney World characters to redesign the overall style of each team’s team logo, but with Disney elements.
To put it naively: if these interesting team logos can appear on the team’s jerseys, it will certainly add some childlike interest to the NBA.
Today, I will take you to understand the story behind the NBA jerseys.
First, the development of NBA jerseys style
Solid color, slim fit, when the NBA league was established in 1946, the NBA jersey was born, initially, the most intuitive role of the jersey is to distinguish between the two teams confronting on the court, do not because of indistinguishable from the enemy and mistakenly injured friendly troops.
With the development of basketball, more elements were added to the jerseys – team names, team logos, team primary colors, player names and other information appeared on the jerseys one after another, and the monotonous jerseys gradually became three-dimensional.
From the fabric point of view, the initial NBA jerseys were wool knit sweatshirts on top and cotton shorts on the bottom. After years of development and improvement, NBA players began to order their own jerseys, the fit of the jerseys gradually became loose from slim, the fabric evolved from cotton fabric to mesh fabric, and everything developed in the direction of personalization, comfort and periodization.
Second, the brand history of NBA jerseys
From the 1970s, a brand named Sandknit began to participate in the design of NBA jerseys. This old American sports brand was not only the sponsor of NBA jerseys, but also the sponsor of NFL jerseys. But the brand’s jersey design has always been mainly traditional, the design style is simple, especially the jersey shorts, the design is both slim and short, can reflect the NBA players strong and powerful thighs. The brand’s jerseys still existed until the “Black and White” era in which Magic and Bird lived, and were written into the history of the NBA along with those ancient gods.
In 1984, David Stern and Michael Jordan entered the NBA at the same time, two pioneers in different fields made indelible contributions to the development of the NBA, since then, NBA jerseys gradually became loose and sporty, players were no longer obsessed with tight and slim jerseys, but began to pursue the comfort of jerseys, gradually, more team elements were presented on NBA jerseys, the classic NBAlogo also began to appear on the shoulder straps of the jerseys.
Remember the Chinese player Wang Zhizhi who landed in the NBA in 2001? His Dallas Mavericks jersey number 16 was designed by Champion, an old American sports brand with a fashionable design style and concept, and the Raptors jersey worn by Vince Carter in his rookie season in 1998 and the Los Angeles Lakers jersey worn by Kobe in the same year were both from this brand. The Raptors jersey worn by Vince Carter in his rookie season in 1998 and the Los Angeles Lakers jersey worn by Kobe in the same year are both from this brand.
After 1997, NBA jerseys entered the “three worlds” situation, in addition to Champion, there are Nike and Starter brand jerseys, three lords each occupy the jersey sponsorship of ten teams, forming a “tripod “In 1999, Puma, a famous sports brand, started to sponsor the jerseys of 10 teams.
In 1999, the famous sports brand Puma joined the NBA jersey camp, old fans will remember the “OK team” during the first triple crown, and the Lakers duel at the top of the West, the classic purple jersey is from Puma’s hands.
From 2001 to 2006, Reebok, a sports brand gradually known to Chinese fans because of Allen Iverson, also entered the NBA jersey market, and the burgundy jersey of LeBron’s rookie season was Reebok’s masterpiece.
In 2006, the NBA ushered in a major change in jerseys, and the famous German sports brand Adidas unified the NBA’s “jersey lake” with an offer of $1 billion, and in the decade since then, Adidas designers have racked their brains to make NBA jerseys more modern, more comfortable, more beautiful and more diverse. So, lighter fabric jerseys, more regional characteristics or even national customs theme jerseys, more pioneering spirit of the short-sleeved jerseys and other new things gradually derived, for the NBA jerseys injected a vibrant life.
Cavaliers Jersey & Warriors Jersey
From 2017 to the present, the unified sponsorship of NBA jerseys belongs to Nike. In the past few years, Nike has not only tried to put high-tech chips in the jerseys, but also invested a lot of energy in the cut of the jerseys, the layout and the design of the team logo, making NBA jerseys more fashionable and more in line with the aesthetics of young people.
Third, the version of today’s NBA jerseys
Before 2017, NBA jerseys maintained a fixed plate style for a long time – home version, away version, second away version and retro night, etc. Later, with the intensification of the NBA globalization process, sponsors also gradually launched a special version represented by “Chinese New Year Later, as the NBA globalization process intensified, sponsors also gradually introduced special versions of jerseys represented by “Chinese New Year”.
After Nike became the sole sponsor of NBA jerseys, they broke the traditional distinction between home and away jerseys, and instead divided the jerseys into league, classic, theme and city editions. The jerseys are more diverse, brighter and more representative of the team.
Before Christmas 2018, Nike also launched a “bonus edition” jersey that only the team that made the playoffs in the previous season could have, which extended the concept of jerseys to the level of court competition.
Four, the level of today’s NBA jerseys
From the sales price, workmanship and fabric, NBA jerseys are mainly divided into two levels and six grades.
The two levels are entry level and game level, where entry level jerseys include Replica (REP), Swingman (SW), Authenic (AU) three levels, while game level jerseys include Team Issued (TI), Game Issued (GI), Game Used (GU) three levels.
The entry-level jersey Replica (REP), that is, the offset version of the jersey, as the name implies, the team logo, player names and numbers are printed on the jersey using rubber, and the offset version of the jersey is simplified in detail, so it is also the lowest price of all the grades.
The entry-level jersey Swingman (SW) is the fan version of the jersey. The jersey’s number, name and team name are all stitched with motor embroidery. Compared to the offset version, the jerseys of this grade have a more three-dimensional feel and are naturally priced higher than the offset version.
Authentic (AU) is a high-end version of the jersey for fans. The jersey of this grade is almost the same as the jersey worn by the players on the field, especially the embroidery is very elaborate, and different colors will be embroidered at different levels, which is very layered and three-dimensional.
The three grades of Game Used jerseys are introduced together, they are the jerseys prepared by the team for the players, among which Team Issued (TI) and Game Issued (GI) can be categorized as game spare jerseys, which are generally hung in the team’s locker room, while the players actually wear Game Used (GU) jerseys in the game, which are generally marked with the year of the season, and naturally have the highest collection value.