Active NBA Players with Champion Jerseys…

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 tough to find. A couple of years ago you could purchase a Kobe rookie-style jersey for $30, now people are paying over $100. With Tim Duncan stepping away from the game a few days ago after 19 seasons,  I realized that in the not-so-distant future there will be no players left from the “Champion jersey era.” The last Champion jerseys rolled off the assembly lines during the 2001-2002 season…14 seasons ago! I thought it would be fun to look at the 11 active players that have been around long enough to have their names immortalized on the back of a nylon jersey with heat pressed letters. Before next season starts, this list will shrink. Andre Miller is currently the oldest active NBA player at age 40. Elton Brand came out of retirement this past season and could possibly be retired again but hasn’t made an official announcement. Jason Terry, Metta World Peace and  Mike Miller are currently unrestricted free agents but want to keep playing. Kevin Garnett and Vince Carter are signed through next season, and Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce and Tony Parker have deals that run through the 2017-2018 season. That leaves Jamal Crawford and Tyson Chandler as the last two players remaining on this list since they are currently under contract through 2018-2019. So by the 2019-2020 season, no one will be able to rock a Champion jersey in support of an active NBA player.

UPDATE: It’s important to note that there are four additional players still active in the NBA that are not included on this list: Manu Ginobili (1999 San Antonio Spurs), Pau Gasol (2001 Memphis Grizzlies via Atlanta), Richard Jefferson (2001 New Jersey Nets via Houston) and Zach Randolph (2001 Portland Trail Blazers). Champion did not produce replica jerseys for these players. In the case of Ginobili, although he was drafted in 1999 he continued to play overseas until joining the Spurs for the 2002-2003 season, at which point Champion was no longer producing jerseys.

11 thoughts on “Active NBA Players with Champion Jerseys…

  • July 14, 2016 at 6:31 am
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    Don’t forget Pau Gasol!

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    • July 14, 2016 at 9:48 am
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      Pau Gasol was indeed part of the 2001 draft, but I haven’t included him in this list because to my knowledge Champion (USA) never produced his Memphis Grizzlies jersey during the 2001-2002 season. Champion Europe did produce Gasol’s Grizzlies rookie-style jersey, and they are fairly common given Gasol’s popularity in Europe (Spain) and the fact that he had instant NBA success as Rookie of the Year in 2002.

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  • July 26, 2016 at 6:47 am
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    Hey bro! Just wondering if you know if Champion ever made a replica Kurt Rambis jersey? If so do you know which number it would have been (31 or 18)?

    Thanks!

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    • July 26, 2016 at 10:53 am
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      Champion did not make a Rambis replica jersey to my knowledge (including his time with the Suns and Kings)…I have never seen one and have looked extensively over the years. If they would have made a Rambis Lakers jersey, it would have been #18 because he left the Lakers following the 1987-1988 season (where he wore #31), when MacGregor Sand-Knit was still producing all jerseys for the NBA. He returned to the Lakers in 1993-1994 and 1994-1995, where he changed to #18 since Sam Bowie was #31. Champion was already making jerseys for seven players on the 1993-1994 Lakers team that was a below .500 team, which might explain why they didn’t make a Rambis jersey. The Rambis jersey is on my list of jerseys I wish Champion would have made but didn’t (the list also includes Bill Cartwright, Mark Eaton and Spud Webb)

      Reply
      • July 27, 2016 at 5:13 am
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        Thanks for your response bro, that’s really helpful. I’m going to get a blank Lakers customized and will go for a Rambis #18! Are you on instagram? Would love to connect on there, give me a follow @warmingthebench if you are and I’ll follow back.

        Reply
        • May 21, 2017 at 10:15 pm
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          Unfortunately not on Instagram. I barely have enough time to update this site more than a few times a year. Maybe one day when this site is complete I’ll hop on social to promote it more. Send pics of the Rambis when you have it complete!

          Reply
  • December 9, 2016 at 6:50 pm
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    Some dude on eBay listed a Tony Parker US Champion jersey

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  • January 30, 2017 at 10:59 pm
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    How about these few replica laser prints they’re making nowadays? For example the LBJ one. I mean, are those legit or what?

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    • May 21, 2017 at 9:00 pm
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      The Champion Europe jerseys were always laser printed (dye sublimation). Champion Europe produced jerseys from 1991-1992 through 2009-2010 (when Adidas finally took over the European market). So Lebron James Champion Europe jerseys are indeed legit.

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  • February 26, 2017 at 1:42 pm
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    I’ve seen Champion Europe Carmelo and LeBron rookie jerseys on the market. Do you know when Champion Europe stopped producing NBA jerseys and would these be legit?

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    • May 21, 2017 at 9:27 pm
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      They are legit. Champion Europe had the NBA license from 1991-1992 through 2009-2010. So even when the license here in the USA went from Champion to Reebok in 2002-2003, Champion Europe still was the sole distributor of NBA jerseys overseas. It wasn’t until the 2010-2011 season that the NBA finally gave the overseas license to Adidas and Champion Europe no longer produced jerseys.

      Reply

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