Let’s take a look at some fake Champion Pro-Cut jerseys, in particular several Toronto Raptors Tracy McGrady rookie jerseys. With the popularity of the Raptors skyrocketing over the past few years, capped off by their championship this year, Raptors 1990s Champion jerseys have been in high demand. And with high demand, come higher prices, and higher prices lead to counterfeits. One of the popular fakes on Ebay is the Tracy McGrady Toronto Raptors Rookie jersey. McGrady was selected straight out of high school by the Toronto Raptors with the ninth overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft. So the first thing to note is that during McGrady’s rookie season of 1997-1998, Nike was the exclusive uniform supplier for the Raptors. Champion could only produce Raptor replica jerseys starting in 1997-1998; they could not produce Raptors Authentic or Pro Cut jerseys. Therefore, any Champion Pro Cut Tracy McGrady jersey is a fake. Below is a game used McGrady rookie jersey from Nike for reference:
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. Blatant counterfeits would be knock-offs made overseas (China) where not a single thread on the jersey is Champion. Subtle counterfeits would be taking a legit blank Champion team-issued jersey and applying a player’s tackle-twill name/number on it by an unlicensed third party. The following will help you start deciphering between real and fake Pro-Cuts.
Jock Tags & Sizing
The jersey should be to the exact measurements and specifications of the player for the particular season that it was produced. I always use Michael Jordan as an example since his jersey size is the most well known. A Pro-Cut Michael Jordan Bulls jersey from the 1990s should be sized at 46 with body length +3.
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, particularly in regards to authenticity. So I wanted to dedicate a series of posts with information I’ve collected over the years about Champion Pro-Cuts, and I’m hoping the many people that read this site will also provide info in the comments below. That way we can all be more informed collectors.
Let me start by saying that while I have owned over 1,000 replicas, I have never owned a Pro-Cut. As a young teenager in the pre-internet days of the early-to-mid 90s, it was pretty much impossible to come across Pro-Cuts at the mall or in sporting goods stores. They were a specialty item that didn’t really have a niche outside of the world of memorabilia (collectors, autographs, etc). Also, the $250 price tag would have been a bit to high for my parents to stomach. And let’s not forget that Pro-Cuts are made to the player’s exact specs, so a 6th grader rocking a Pro-Cut Ewing jersey is going to look like an idiot.