Let’s take a look at
Again, let me preface this post by saying that I do not collect Champion Pro-Cut jerseys. Counterfeiting is way too rampant since the price-points are so high. As mentioned in my previous post, there are two types of fakes/counterfeits, blatant and subtle.
My main focus and expertise is Champion replica jerseys because of the nostalgia associated with them. But I get a lot of questions about Pro-Cut jerseys,
25 years ago today on June 7, 1993 Drazen Petrovic was killed in a tragic automobile accident at the age of 28. Already a legend in Europe, Petrovic joined the Portland Trailblazers for the 1989-1990 season at the age of 25 (the Blazers had selected him in the 1986 draft and owned his rights). He was
Chicago-area department store Carson’s ran this advertisement on December 3, 1996 to promote Champion’s retro line of NBA 50th Anniversary jerseys. The focal point of the ad is the Limited Edition Pro Cut Michael Jordan 50th Anniversary Commemorative Rookie Jersey. It’s the only authentic jersey that Champion released for the NBA 50th Anniversary collection. It was limited to 200 and available only by phone order from Carsons. This is the “Holy Grail” of Jordan jerseys. I’ve only seen two come up for auction on Ebay in my nearly 20 years of collecting.
The photo of the jersey in the ad
During the 1996-1997 season the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary. The NBA’s goal was to spotlight the history of the league and the early superstars and teams. Unlike the NFL and MLB where young fans were familiar with old-time stars of those leagues, the NBA had notoriously been bad at promoting its history and former legends. The league had experienced a boom in popularity during the 1980s (Larry Bird & Magic Johnson) and the 1990s (Michael Jordan and the Bulls), but those current superstars overshadowed stars of the past. During the 80s and early 90s the league was focused on the future and growing into a global brand, and thus never took time to reflect on its past. As a result, kids like myself in the mid-90s had no clue who Bill Russell, Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Pistol Pete Maravich or George Gervin were and didn’t even know about the ABA.
In my last post, I looked at the active NBA players who have a Champion jersey. Champion’s last season of producing replica jerseys was 2001-2002, so anyone drafted 2001 or prior
Whenever an NBA veteran announces his retirement, my automatic response is to check Ebay to see the impact on the popularity/market value of his Champion jersey (sadly, I do the same when a former player dies). Kobe Bryant’s rookie-style Lakers Champion jersey started selling like crazy in the months leading up to his final game, and still remains
From 1991-1992 through the 1996-1997 season, Champion held the exclusive uniform license for the NBA. Champion produced the on-court uniforms for all 29 teams, and was the only licensee able to produce replica and authentic jerseys for retail. Starting in the 1997-1998 season, the NBA divided the uniform licenses between Champion, Nike and Starter. While Champion could no longer produce authentic jerseys for the 19 teams now held by Nike or Starter, they
This is a follow-up to my previous post about using the jock tag, NBA logo and collar label to determine the exact year that Champion released a particular jersey. Often times, you can pinpoint the year a jersey was produced by obvious aesthetic traits like the color, graphics/logo, and font of the player name. Or you can use simple logic based on team rosters and players that might have only played for a particular team for one season. But there are teams like the Bulls that didn’t change their jerseys the entire time that Champion produced replica jerseys from