Recently, MEARS examined a 1969-70 New York Knicks home jersey of team legend Willis Reed.
Made out of durene, the standard fabric for NBA jerseys of the era, the jersey was lacking a manufacturer’s tag, but size and placement of visible remnants indicate the jersey being issued by Cosby, the Knicks’ uniform supplier of the era, and later the local lettering/numbering stop for Sand-Knit uniforms the Knicks wore.
The size tag was intact, indicating the jersey to be a 48. Extra length was evident, but untagged. These specs would be consistent with a player who stood 6-9 and weighed 235, bulkier dimensions than many other NBA players.
Measurements of the jersey came in at 21 inches for the chest, and 30 1/2 inches for the torso…smaller than tagged, but explainable due to the shrinkage common for durene and cheese cloth jerseys of this era and later.
Year, set and player ID tagging is not present, but this is normal for nearly all pre-1987 Knicks jerseys from Cosby and Sand-Knit.
Size specs for the NOB, team name and numbers were consistent with exemplars (NEW YORK = 3 inches; NOB = 2 3/4 inches; front number = 5 15/16 inches, back number same). The vertical arch of the NOB matches other Knicks exemplars of the era.
The jersey displays consistent, moderate use, with several tiny holes in the durene fabric. Additional written provenance dates the jersey to the memorable 1969-70 season.
This jersey received a final MEARS grade of A8, with one grading point subtracted for the missing Cosby tag, and an additional point subtracted for the minor damage to the durene jersey shell.