What’s the difference between replica, swingman and authentic NBA Jerseys? This is a question that we are asked quite a lot, so here's a short summary that can hopefully help outline the difference.
Typically when you buy an official NBA jersey, you will either be buying an NBA replica, an NBA swingman or an authentic NBA jersey, but what’s the difference between these different types? Let’s break it down so that you know exactly what you’re getting when you purchase one of these types of NBA jersey.
Replica NBA Jerseys
A replica NBA jersey is the most basic type of fan-jersey that you can buy. It has a very similar look and design to that of the NBA jerseys that the players wear, however there are some important differences.
All replica jerseys are screenprinted with a team wordmark, team logos and player name and numbers. Replica jerseys tend to be made of flat-back polyester mesh and have a wide-shoulder, sleeveless cut. The wide-shoulder cut and simple screen printing are distinguishing features of a replica NBA jersey.
Replica NBA jerseys are amongst the cheapest style of jersey and while they are still made of quality materials and well put together, they are still the basic model, so prices and the relative longevity of the jersey will reflect this.
Swingman NBA Jerseys
Swingman NBA jerseys are a step up from a replica NBA jersey. They more accurately copy the features of an on-court NBA jersey and, in the case of swingman jerseys for current NBA teams and players, will be made of a more performance-based material.
Speaking generally (as swingman jerseys can include Hardwood Classic editions, as well as current NBA jersey styles) an NBA swingman jersey will be made of a heavier, 100% polyester mesh, and will have a 2” drop tail that mimics the jerseys that the players wear on court.
Swingman jerseys will feature a single-layer tackle twill front work mark, player name and numbers, unless they are from the 2015-16 NBA season onwards, in which case they will feature a heat-sealed tackle twill front word mark, logo, players name and numbers which more accurately mimics modern NBA jerseys. These heat sealed elements are breathable and move more easily with the jersey material for increased player comfort, while retaining a high-quality look.
Authentic NBA Jerseys
An authentic NBA jersey is a true copy of the NBA jerseys that your favourite players wear on the court. These jerseys replicate the same fabrics, trims, cuts and aesthetic details that you would find on the actual NBA jerseys worn by NBA players.
Typically they feature a single, or multi-layer twill word mark, players name, numbers and logos, and the material of the jersey will be heavier than either the replica or swingman jerseys.