How to Spot Fake NBA Jerseys? | 2024 Edition

The passion for the NBA and its iconic jerseys is undeniable. However, with that passion comes the risk of encountering counterfeit jerseys. These fakes can be disappointing in quality and don’t support the league or players. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to confidently identify genuine NBA jerseys in 2024. Here’s how to spot fake NBA jerseys and ensure you get the real deal. By understanding the key aspects of authenticity, you will know exactly how to spot fake NBA jerseys and avoid counterfeits.

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How to Spot Fake NBA Jerseys?

There are several key areas to examine when trying to determine a jersey’s authenticity. By inspecting these details closely, you can avoid ending up with a counterfeit. Here’s a detailed breakdown on how to spot fake NBA jerseys:


One of the first things to check when learning how to spot fake NBA jerseys is the stitching. Authentic jerseys feature clean, even stitching throughout, including the numbers, letters, and logos. The stitching on genuine jerseys is precise, with no loose threads or frayed edges. Fakes, on the other hand, often have uneven stitching that can appear sloppy or inconsistent. Loose threads and frayed edges are common issues found in counterfeit jerseys, indicating poor craftsmanship.

How to Spot Fake NBA Jerseys

When examining a jersey, compare the stitching patterns to those of official jerseys. Look closely at the stitching on the logos, numbers, and letters. Authentic jerseys will display uniform stitching that enhances the overall appearance and durability of the jersey. In contrast, counterfeit jerseys often show irregular stitching patterns and inconsistencies that detract from their quality. Paying close attention to these details is crucial when learning how to spot fake NBA jerseys. By scrutinizing the stitching, you can more confidently determine whether an NBA jersey is authentic or a counterfeit.

Stock Photos

When purchasing NBA jerseys online, it’s crucial to exercise caution and be wary of sellers who only provide stock photos. Reputable sellers prioritize transparency by offering high-quality images of the actual jersey you’re interested in buying. This enables you to zoom in and scrutinize essential details such as stitching and logos, ensuring that you’re making an informed decision. By recognizing the significance of viewing the genuine product rather than relying on generic images, you enhance your ability to discern authentic NBA jerseys from counterfeit ones.

Neck Tag

The neck tag, typically located on the inner collar area, should be securely stitched on and contain accurate information. Authentic jerseys will have details such as the jersey size, brand information (usually Nike), washing instructions, and potentially a hologram or other security feature. These tags are meticulously crafted and attached, reflecting the quality and attention to detail of genuine NBA merchandise. Ensuring the presence of these details is a key step in identifying real jerseys.

How to Spot Fake NBA Jerseys

Fakes, however, often have missing information, typos, or poorly attached tags. The font, layout, and content of the neck tag on counterfeit jerseys can vary significantly from those on authentic jerseys. Misspelled words, incorrect logos, or misplaced details are common signs of a fake. Inspecting the neck tag is crucial in how to spot fake NBA jerseys, as it often reveals key discrepancies. By carefully examining the neck tag, you can spot inconsistencies and errors that indicate a counterfeit. This detailed inspection helps ensure that you are purchasing a legitimate product that supports the league and its players.

Country of Origin

Most authentic NBA jerseys are manufactured overseas. Look for a discreetly placed tag indicating the country of origin. These tags are typically found in an unobtrusive location, such as inside the jersey along the side seam or near the washing instructions. The country of origin should be consistent with known manufacturing locations for NBA jerseys, such as China, Vietnam, or Honduras.

Fakes may have a missing tag or an illogical country of origin listed. For instance, if the tag states a country that is not known for producing NBA jerseys, it is likely a counterfeit. Additionally, the tag should be professionally attached and free of errors or inconsistencies. Ensuring the country of origin is logical and accurately displayed helps in how to spot fake NBA jerseys. By checking this detail, you can avoid purchasing a fake jersey and ensure that you are getting an authentic product.

NBA Logo

Paying close attention to the logos is essential in how to spot fake NBA jerseys. Official NBA jerseys have logos, including team logos and the NBA logo, that are meticulously embroidered with distinct layers and textures. These logos should have a three-dimensional quality, with precise stitching and vibrant colors that accurately represent the team’s branding. Authentic logos will feel slightly raised to the touch due to the quality of the embroidery. Fakes often use cheap, heat-pressed logos that appear flat and lack dimension. These logos may peel or crack over time and do not have the same textured feel as authentic ones.

The NBA logo itself is a common giveaway – the genuine logo depicts Jerry West in a specific, well-defined pose, with clear details and sharp lines. Fakes may have a distorted or inaccurate version of the logo, often with blurred lines or incorrect proportions. By examining the quality and detail of the embroidered logos, you can differentiate between a genuine jersey and a counterfeit one. Always compare the logo on the jersey to official images from the NBA or the team to ensure accuracy.

Jock Tag

Examine the jock tag, typically located on the bottom left hem. Authentic jerseys will have a high-quality, stitched-on jock tag with accurate sizing information and potentially additional details like the year. Fakes may have a poorly attached tag, incorrect sizing information, or missing details. The jock tag provides another clear indicator in how to spot fake NBA jerseys.


Checking for perforations is a practical step in how to spot fake NBA jerseys, particularly for older models. Some authentic jerseys, particularly older models, may have perforations (small holes) along the edges or seams. These perforations are used for breathability and are usually very small and evenly spaced.

Genuine jerseys will feature these perforations as part of their design, allowing for increased airflow and comfort during gameplay. However, fakes may have missing perforations or poorly done ones that appear uneven or jagged. By inspecting the presence and quality of perforations, you can assess the authenticity of the jersey and distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions.

Retail Tags

While not always a foolproof method, it’s worth noting that authentic jerseys often come with retail tags attached. These tags typically include essential information such as the brand, size, style code, barcode, and recommended retail price. By contrast, counterfeit jerseys may lack these tags altogether, or they may feature poorly printed tags with inaccurate information. While not infallible, examining retail tags can provide valuable clues in identifying fake NBA jerseys.


Authentic jerseys are typically made from breathable, lightweight mesh fabric like polyester, which provides comfort and flexibility. When running your hands across the jersey, it should feel smooth and comfortable, with a soft texture that conforms to the body.

In contrast, fake jerseys often use cheaper materials that feel rough, stiff, or even plastic-like. These materials may lack the same level of comfort and flexibility as authentic ones. Feeling the material is a tactile way to understand how to spot fake NBA jerseys, as it can reveal discrepancies in quality and texture that indicate the jersey’s authenticity.

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Understanding how to spot fake NBA jerseys is crucial for any fan who wants to ensure they’re buying genuine products. By paying attention to stitching, checking for stock photos, examining the neck tag, verifying the country of origin, scrutinizing the NBA logo, inspecting the jock tag, looking for perforations, checking retail tags, and feeling the material, you can confidently identify authentic jerseys. Armed with this knowledge, you can avoid the disappointment of counterfeit jerseys and support the league and players you love.

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