NBA COMMEMORATIVE COLLECTION: PART 1
While Score Board created confusion with their tagged Rawlings MLB game-quality jerseys in 1989-90. the NBA took a turn at upsetting the sanctity of the game-used jersey hobby with the ill-advised introduction of NBA Commemorative Collection game jerseys for the 1992-93 seasons.
Like the Score Board MLB productions, the NBACC edition used the actual NBA uniform supplier of the era (Champion). Also in Score Board fashion, game quality jerseys were produced. Tagging, as was the case with Score Board MLB editions, was included in similar-to-team-issued form on the NBACC apparel.
The only good news: like the Score Board MLB jerseys, subtle differences, if known, could enable a collector to avoid getting stuck with one of these as a “game-worn” jersey based on creative and/or deceptive descriptions from a seller on the secondary market.
With that in mind, the known players from this collectible issue, and the telltale signs of the NBACC jerseys vis-à-vis true team pieces, are detailed here.
MICHAEL JORDAN AND SCOTTIE PIPPEN (BULLS): A lack of sufficient drop on the NOB (space between the NOB and the back of the neck) coupled with a different NOB font (sans-serif on NBACC as opposed to the serifed NOBs on actual Bulls gamers) make spotting these two (both road red) fairly easy.
MAGIC JOHNSON (LAKERS) and LARRY BIRD (CELTICS): The home yellow Magic and road green Bird tops are definable as NBACC by virtue of both players being retired at that point in time.
CHARLES BARKLEY (SUNS): Sized identical to gamers, but identified as NBACC by the location of the NBA logo. Suns gamers of the era were logo-emblazoned on the right shoulder strap…the NBACC versions used the left shoulder strap.
PATRICK EWING (KNICKS): His blue road Knicks jersey made for his use are equipped and tagged with 6 inches of extra body length…the NBACC editions are only a +4 inches of extra length.
CLYDE DREXLER (TRAILBLAZERS): Another matter of differing extra length on these black road tops…The Glide actually wore 3 inches extra length, while the NBACC jerseys only have two.
Other NBACC jerseys were believed to have been issued, including (but not limited to) Shaquille O’Neal road Magic and Larry Johnson road Hornets. I have not yet been able to discern team/retail differences on these yet. Anyone who can is encouraged to send information to the MEARS bulletin board for further enhancement of this issue.
NBACC, PART 2
The NBACC appeared again for the 1993-94 season, but, the second time around, the issuers made notable tagging differences that, while not foolproof, would require massive tag tampering to obscure or conceal. The ’93-’94 editions were triple-tagged (as opposed to dual-tagged), with the third tag being one identifying the jersey as a NBACC piece, and located in the center of the front tail.
Also, the 1993-94 NBACC pieces were created in limited editions of 50, 100, or 200, and the total run of a given jersey from the NBACC (such as 200 for Michael Jordan) was included on the exclusive/year/extra length tag on the front tail.
For this second episode of NBACC jerseys, the predominant styles in the group were home whites, as opposed to the first group being mostly road jerseys. The MJ home Bulls also was not issued with the black memoriam band on the shoulder strap, which the Bulls wore on gamers that season in memory of Michael’s father, James Jordan, who was murdered the previous summer.
NEXT TIME: Twelve bits of trivia on patches and memoriam bands in the big 3 sports.