Your Cart
authentic nba jerseys e1688517406319

Swingman vs Replica vs Authentic, what is the difference?

There is no doubt that NBA fans love jerseys, but do you know the difference between Replica, Swingman, and Authentic jerseys? There are two types of jerseys in total, one is the fan version and the other is the player version. So to let everyone have a comprehensive understanding of NBA jerseys, the editor here has compiled the latest and most detailed NBA jersey science for you, including the difference between the fan version and the player version, true and false identification, size encyclopedia, and size guide

NBA Jersey Version

There are 5 main versions of the NBA jersey

  • REP-Replica: Offset printing, low price but poor quality
  • SW-Swingman: Single-layer embroidery jersey, fair price
  • AU-Authentic: Mulity-layer embroidery jersey
  • GI-Game Issued: The player’s spare jersey, in the same size as the player is wearing
  • GU-Game Used: Jerseys worn by players themselves

Replica Jersey History

Since 1991, the Champion company has manufactured NBA jerseys and launched REP jerseys at affordable prices. Single-layer offset printing. The picture below is Allen Iverson’s champion REP jersey;

allen iversion 76ers repliaca jersey by champion

In 1997, NIKE took over the NBA jerseys. REP adopted a more aesthetic version, but the material and offset printing of the jerseys remained unchanged. The picture below shows Michael Jordan Black Bull NIKE REP jersey;

michael jordan bulls repliaca jersey by nike

In mid-2002, Reebok took over the banner of NBA jerseys. However, while the workmanship of the REP material has not changed much, RBK has canceled the narrow shoulder design of NIKE and replaced it with a fat and wide shoulder, which has broken the hearts of countless jersey fans. The picture below is Kobe Bryant’s retro RBK REP;

allen iversion 76ers repliaca jersey by reebok

In 2006, Adidas acquired Reebok, and the NBA jersey manufacturer changed hands again. Adidas REP has not changed in terms of version and material. REP jerseys are gradually squeezed out of the jersey market by swingman jerseys with higher positioning. The picture below shows Paul Pierce’s Adidas REP jersey;

paul perce repliaca jersey by adidas

However, Champion’s branch in Europe, Champion Euro, has not stopped producing REP jerseys from 1995 to the 21st century. It uses excellent dyeing and printing technology in printing. The jersey is with narrow-shoulder design, which is very popular among REP fans. The picture below shows Tracy McGrady’s Champion Euro REP jersey;

tracy mcgrady repliaca jersey by champion euro

Swingman Jersey History

In 1997, Nike pioneered the Swingman, which adopted the single-layer embroidery technology, which improved a level compared with REP in terms of aesthetics and restoration and thus gained a large number of fans. In terms of the length of the jersey, the early Nike SW did not have an extended design, and the workmanship was very excellent.

The later Nike SW was lengthened, and the subscript appeared +2 length, and it is still in use today. The Rewind series received great acclaim from the fans at that time. It is worth mentioning that at that time, Nike only had more than 10 teams, so it only made the AU and Gamer (player version) jerseys of these more than 10 teams, but Nike produced the SW of all teams. , This also shows that Nike attached great importance to the design and production of SW, and did not regard SW as a subordinate product of AU. The picture below shows that Kobe MPLS Nike did not lengthen the SW in the early days;

kobe bryant MLPS swingman jersey by nike

The picture below shows Kobe’s yellow four-star Nike late SW;

kobe bryant stars lakers swingman jersey by nike

In mid-2004, Reebok secured an exclusive contract to produce the official NBA apparel(marking the first time a single company had obtained such a contract in NBA history). As for the SW line, Reebok made adjustments to the silhouette of Nike SW while maintaining a similar material composition. The SW line introduced a design with a rear hem, which remains a feature to this day. The image below shows the retro RBK SW featuring Carmelo Anthony.

carmelo anthony nuggets swingman jersey by nike

After Adidas acquired Reebok in 2006, they took over the exclusive contract for NBA authentic equipment in the same year, marking the beginning of multiple reforms related to the SW (Swingman) series.

From 2006 to the mid-2010s, Adidas directly inherited the Reebok SW (Swingman) series. The following image shows Kobe Bryant’s away Adidas SW jersey during that period.

kobe bryant lakers swingman jersey by adidas 2006 2010

Starting from the 2010-2011 season, Adidas made a significant reform to the jerseys known as Revolution 30 (R30). The R30 jerseys were named so because they were 30% lighter and had improved drying speed compared to the previous generation. The jerseys were made using 80% recyclable and environmentally friendly materials. Unlike the previous SW jerseys, the Adidas R30 SW jerseys used non-mesh polyester fibers with a texture similar to polyester, effectively addressing the issue of skin irritation caused by mesh fabrics. While ensuring fabric elasticity and durability, the jerseys became lighter. The following image shows Kobe Bryant’s home R30 SW jersey.

kobe bryant lakers swingman jersey by adidas 2010 2011 r30

In addition, there were two minor changes that should not be overlooked:

a) The first change occurred in late 2013 when SW products worldwide were shortened by 2 inches. This adjustment is believed to be a result of Adidas conducting thorough market research to cater to contemporary fashion tastes regarding sizing.

b) The second change took place in the first half of 2014 when certain R30 SW products started incorporating heat transfer instead of the previous embroidery.

However, prior to the 2014-2015 NBA season, Adidas made a significant and sweeping transformation for the new SW lineup. They improved the existing polyester fiber by incorporating Climacool technology into the fabric, making the jerseys more lightweight and breathable. They also introduced a mesh-like design similar to the player edition jerseys, further enhancing ventilation. Additionally, all jerseys were shortened by two inches, addressing the issue of excessive length. Furthermore, the embroidery for team names, numbers, and player names was completely replaced by heat transfer technology, significantly improving the comfort of wearing SW jerseys.

The picture below shows the R30 SW of the 2014-2015 season

kobe bryant lakers swingman jersey by adidas 2014 2015 r30

Authentic Jersey History

From 1990 to 1994, Champion maintained excellent quality control, whether it was for replicas (REP), authentic jerseys (AU), or player-worn jerseys (gamer).

The picture below shows the first Champion edition AU of Reggie Miller;

reggie miller authentic jersey by champion

The 1996-1997 season marked the NBA’s 50th anniversary, symbolized by the golden logo. However, in the 1997-1998 season, the NBA started assigning jersey production to different companies.

Champion still had around 10 teams under their sponsorship, and they introduced notable products like the dual-tag AU jerseys in the early 2000s. One of their iconic pieces is the McGrady Champion AU jersey shown in the image below, which remains a sought-after item for many Tracy McGrady fans and collectors to this day.

tracy mcgrady blue magic authentic jersey by champion

Nike made its entrance in the NBA in the 1997-1998 season and took over sponsorship of around 10 teams. Nike’s AU jerseys, in terms of design, craftsmanship, and materials, were meticulously executed, setting a high standard that subsequent brands found difficult to match. The Nike AU jerseys became renowned for their exceptional quality and became a benchmark in the industry.

The following image shows the highly rare Jordan Red Bull Nike AU jersey.

michael jordan bulls 45 authentic jersey by nike

Starter also had a share of the market during the 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 seasons, controlling around 10 teams. Starter’s AU jerseys were known for their decent craftsmanship, but their design and material were considered average compared to brands like Nike and RBK.

The following image shows the Kevin Garnett White Wolves Starter AU jersey.

kevin garnett white wolves starter au jersey

During the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons, Puma replaced Starter as one of the key players in the market. Puma’s AU jerseys, like Starter’s, maintained solid craftsmanship, but Puma excelled in terms of material quality. However, there weren’t significant breakthroughs in terms of design. A notable example from this period is the old version of the Kings jersey, known for its excellent craftsmanship and materials. Let’s take a look at the White Chocolate Jason Williams Puma AU jersey.

white chocolate jason williams puma au jersey

Starting from the 2001-2002 season, Reebok, which had long coveted the jersey market, took control of the teams previously associated with Starter and Puma. Additionally, several teams switched from Champion to Reebok. With these developments, Reebok emerged as a major player in the market.

This rise coincided with the popularity of hip-hop culture, and Reebok embraced a design approach characterized by loose and baggy jerseys. However, Nike, the industry leader, was not about to be surpassed by followers. Surprisingly, while Reebok found success in jerseys, its overall performance in the market was lacking. In around 2006, Reebok was acquired by Adidas, and from the 2006-2007 season, Adidas secured the exclusive rights to NBA’s authentic equipment contract until the 2017-2018 season. At that time, Adidas made few innovations in terms of AU jerseys and heavily relied on Reebok’s previous designs.

tracy mcgrady blue magic authentic jersey by adidas
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Free Worldwide shipping

Free shipping on all orders

30-Day Moneyback Guarantee

30 days money back guarantee

International Warranty

Offered in the country of usage

100% Secure Checkout

PayPal / MasterCard / Visa