If you are shopping for NBA jerseys, you might be a little confused which NBA jersey is authentic. There are several different types of NBA jerseys, and most of them are replicas. Which NBA jersey is authentic?
The authentic NBA jersey is simply called ‘Nike Authentic’. Click here to view the Nike Authentic jerseys at NBAStore.com (affiliate link takes you to NBAStore.com).
This may seem a bit obvious after the fact, but there are actually several different types of NBA jerseys to consider, and so you certainly aren’t the first person to be a bit confused. Here are the 5 types of NBA jerseys, and what you need to know:
NBA Jersey Types
- Nike Swingman – This is Nike’s more affordable replica option. These are very popular among fans, but they are not embroidered. Great option if you don’t want to pay up for the embroidered authentic jerseys. Slim fit, if you prefer baggy, size up. Click here to view the Nike Swingman jerseys at NBAStore.com (affiliate link takes you to NBAStore.com).
- Nike Authentic – These are the authentic jerseys. These jerseys have all the premium finishes, including stitched numbers and graphics. They have a slim fit, and you will need to size up if you prefer a baggy fit. Click here to view the Nike Authentic jerseys at NBAStore.com (affiliate link takes you to NBAStore.com).
- Fanatics Fast Break Jersey – Another affordable replica jersey. It is made by Fanatics, not Nike. If you are operating on a tight budget, I suggest checking it out. These are not stitched. This jersey has a true-to-size regular fit. Click here to view the Fanatics Fast Break jerseys at NBAStore.com (affiliate link takes you to NBAStore.com).
- Mitchell & Ness Swingman – Mitchell & Ness makes classic throwback jerseys. The Swingman version is the more affordable option, but these jerseys still have awesome quality, including stitched graphics on most jerseys. This jersey is not as slim as the Nike jerseys. I recommend ordering your normal sizing. Click here to view the Mitchell & Ness Swingman throwback collection at NBAStore.com (affiliate link takes you to NBAStore.com).
- Mitchell & Ness Authentic – These are also throwback authentic jerseys. They are stitched. These authentic throwbacks are some of the most coveted fan jerseys. Click here to view the Mitchell & Ness Authentic jerseys at NBAStore.com (affiliate link takes you to NBAStore.com).
In this article let’s take a specific look at the authentic jerseys, and what you can expect. If you want to read more about NBA jersey sizing, visit our article How Do NBA Jerseys Fit?
Which NBA Jersey is Authentic?
As we discussed earlier, the ‘Nike Authentic’ jerseys are the authentic NBA jerseys. These jerseys are as close as you can get as a fan to wearing what the players wear.
How can you tell if an NBA jersey is authentic?
First, I would advise you to just make sure you buy through a reputable source. For example, NBAStore.com is the official online store of the NBA – you can buy from them with confidence knowing you aren’t getting scammed.
Nike Authentic jerseys come with an authentic jock tag stitched to the bottom right front of the jersey. Implanted in the jock tag should be a unique Nike Connect chip. Here is a close-up look at my jock tag:
A Nike Connected jersey is a digitally-enabled jersey that is intended to further enhance your fan connection to the game by giving you access to player and team specific scores, stats, and highlights by combining your Nike Connected jersey with the Nike Connect App (source). One other cool thing it does, is help spot fakes.
If someone is trying to sell you a Nike Authentic jersey, and it does not have this Nike Connect jock tag, it is a fake. As I said earlier, my strongest advice is to stick with a reputable source like NBAStore.com when you want to buy authentic NBA jerseys. Click here to view the Nike Authentic jerseys at NBAStore.com (affiliate link takes you to NBAStore.com).
Nike Authentic Details
The Nike Authentic jerseys have all the premium finishes and are the closest you can get as a fan to wearing what the players wear on the court. If you look at the jock tag I posted earlier, you can see it says “Engineered to the exact specifications of championship athletes.”
Here is what you can expect from an authentic NBA jersey:
- Stitched logos and graphics
- Open venting at bottom sides for freedom of movement and comfort
- Heat-sealed NBA logo on back neckline, and franchise’s championship gold-number badge on back neck collar
- Lightweight, quick-drying fabric that features authentic ventilation throughout the jersey
- Some editions feature a unique team tagline stitched above the jock tag
The Nike Authentic jerseys have a slim fit, which mimics the slim fit of the players jerseys. I personally did not size up, but if you prefer a baggy, loose fit, sizing up may be best. Here I am wearing a size 44 (6’3 200):
**To read more about the details of a Nike Authentic jersey, visit our Nike Authentic Jersey Review.
Authentic vs Swingman NBA Jerseys
Ultimately, if you are shopping for a Nike NBA jersey, you will have to decide between the Nike Authentic and the Nike Swingman. The Nike Swingman jerseys are the replica jerseys. Here is a look at my Embiid Authentic (left) vs Embiid Swingman (right):
Because the Swingman jerseys are the replica jerseys, you can expect them to be more affordable than the Authentic jerseys, but they won’t have all the premium finishes. For example, the Swingman jerseys have screen-printed graphics instead of stitched-on graphics like the authentic jerseys. To read more, visit our article Swingman vs Authentic.
Where to Buy Authentic NBA Jerseys?
NBAStore.com is the official online store of the NBA. You can buy from them with confidence knowing you aren’t getting scammed. Because Authentics are so coveted, fake jerseys do exist. Buying through a reputable source is advised.
Click here to buy your Nike Authentic jersey at NBAStore.com (affiliate link takes you to NBAStore.com). The team stores inside of NBA arenas will also have authentic jerseys for sale.