Rip Off: NBA’s New Nike Jerseys Are Straight Up Awful

Globally, Nike is perched atop the sports apparel market; the crème de la crème. Walk around the wrong neighborhood, you might get ran for your Js — but nobody ever got jumped for their Curry 2s.

Founder Phil Knight owes his $26 billion fortune to that iconic swoosh; a testament to the brand’s provenance, which makes the this year’s awful NBA jerseys that much stranger. Watch Ben Simmons’ jersey disintegrate like a meteor entering the atmosphere:

 

Or Dwayne Wade’s jersey collect sweat like a fighter trying to lose water weight before a weigh-in:

You’ve heard of Dri-Fit; this is wet-fit.

Nike is in the first year of an 8-year partnership with the NBA, who, until last year, had an exclusive deal with Adidas as the manufacturer of in-game jerseys.

Nike, with their deep pockets, made the NBA an offer they couldn’t refuse that includes Nike’s logo appearing conspicuously on game jerseys.

It’s clear the guys in R&D got some wires crossed when designing these bad boys. Kevin Love is a big dude, but he’s not Hulk Hogan. Watch him rip his shirt down the middle like the Hulkster in his prime:

Nike has long championed innovation, but they fixed something that wasn’t broken with this year’s NBA jerseys. Actually, they broke something that was in perfect working order by giving actual NBA players what appear to be knock-off jerseys.

The iconic Laker purple and gold is looking a lot yellower than it should:

And that Knick orange is looking conspicuously like a highlighter:

Whatever proprietary fabric blend Nike’s alchemists cooked up needs to be reformulated because the jerseys obviously aren’t constructed to withstand the rigors of an NBA game. Which is curious, because Nike makes also makes the NFL’s jerseys, and those things are indestructible:

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Nike has enough goodwill with NBA fans that everyone will laugh off their shoddy, game-worn merchandise like an errant 3-pointer from a 7-footer as the shot clock expires.

No doubt, they’ll quietly replace the jerseys with something studier soon, but until then, enjoy watching you favorite player’s jerseys get ripped like crutch paper every night.