As an NBA fan, you may marvel at the sight of the players, their stature, their skills, and perhaps their gear. Just looking at their limited edition sneakers would be just as fun as the game itself if you’re into basketball shoes. And what about their jerseys? Do NBA players get new jerseys every game, or do they have other arrangements for that?
If you want to find the answer to this question, this article spills the tea and more.
Do NBA Players Get New Jersey Every Game?
Generally speaking, no, they don’t, mainly because of the cost of each jersey. Authentic jerseys worn by NBA players cost around $200 to $300, according to the NBA Store, so the costs are astronomical if teams endeavor to replace jerseys every game. It’s not a practical move if NBA teams by 12 players suiting up night in and night out with new jerseys every game.
How do NBA teams handle this situation? That’s where the job of NBA kit manager, or equipment manager, comes in handy. A part of their job description is washing game-worn jerseys and reusing them for future games. They get the gear cleaned daily since most players wear almost the same stuff every game.
And that doesn’t stop there. Equipment managers do need to make sure the jerseys are blemish-free. In addition to knowing how to wash NBA jerseys, they must also know how to check jerseys for filth, sweat stains, and other signs of wear before every game. The managers are experienced in doing this and will make sure to use a special cleaning to get rid of any stains or marks. The jerseys are then dried and placed in garment bags until the players are ready to wear them. That’s hard work now, isn’t it?
As any fan would know, superstars do not get the same treatment as their teammates for a good reason. The team’s stars may wear new jerseys every game and buy them from their pockets. Why? Because their game-worn jerseys cost a lot, even more than the raw price, they’re paying them for. They may sell them to collectors, auction them for their foundations, or give them to their fans or friends.
But then again, this depends on the team. Since the club provides the gear for their players, the jerseys are considered their property. If a player chooses to give it away, perhaps as part of jersey swaps with fellow players after the game, they may require said player to pay for the jersey.
How Often Do NBA Players Get New Jerseys?
If NBA players generally don’t wear new jerseys every game, then how often do NBA players get new jerseys? There is no concrete answer to this question. As mentioned in the previous section, the equipment managers are tasked to wash the jerseys every game and prepare them for use. Do NBA players reuse jerseys? Yes, they do, and more often than you think!
However, this does not mean the jerseys could last a month or at least a few weeks. Strong detergents and washing machines wear away the fabric or fade the numbers. This happens approximately every four or five games, meaning teams must replace the jerseys around this time. This also ensures that the jerseys their players wear look pristine and represent the club well.
But then again, there is no rule of thumb to follow here. While NBA players don’t necessarily get new uniforms for each game, the regularity with which they do varies on several factors, including the team policies and the duration of the season.
An NBA fan once asked JJ Redick if they get new jerseys every game, but he confirmed the jerseys are washed every game and that there is an allotted number of jerseys for each player. It’s possible that if a player exceeds the allocated number of jerseys, he may have to purchase them out of his own pocket. That’s spare change for them, and that probably gives the players the green light to do whatever they want out of these jerseys.
There is also documented evidence that NBA equipment managers are well-trained to “recycle” jerseys by adding the print and numbers to the jerseys themselves. That’s one way for teams to save money on jerseys. Replacing the entire jersey, fabric, and everything is more expensive and difficult to do than simply applying the print again.
How Many Jerseys Do NBA Players Get Each Season?
According to an unconfirmed source, NBA players get four to six sets of several team jerseys in a season. NBA teams use many types of jerseys for the season, such as dark and light-colored jerseys, Statement and City edition jerseys, and classic jerseys.
For example, back in the 2021-22 season, the Raptors sported five different types of jerseys. They rolled out the Association Edition (previously called the “Home” jersey), Icon Edition (previously called the Away jersey), Statement Edition (or the Alternate jersey), City Edition, and Earned Edition.
Typically, alternate uniforms are worn for specific games and occasions, such as the Christmas Day games, where teams don limited-edition “Christmas” jerseys. The NBA has also introduced the idea of “City Edition” jerseys, which are worn in certain games during the season and are influenced by the city and culture of the team.
What Happens to Used NBA Jerseys?
It depends on the condition of the jerseys. For instance, if it’s still wearable, the equipment manager may just wash it, inspect if there are any blemishes, fold them, and make the players wear it again. They will probably fix something minor or handle repairs if it means saving on another pair of jersey.
Some jerseys may be used as another form of revenue stream for teams and players. They can auction them for additional money or gift them to charities for similar purposes. Some players may also keep their own used jerseys as a keepsake if the game means something personal. On other occasions, players swap jerseys, a ritual originated in soccer (football) where jerseys are exchanged out of friendship or respect.
A prime example of this is Dwyane Wade’s retirement in 2019. Every game, Wade did jersey swaps to certain players to keep the jerseys as mementos.
What Jerseys Do NBA Players Wear?
NBA players wear different types of jerseys during games, and the specific kind of jersey depends on the team’s choice and the game’s circumstances. Here are the main types of jerseys that NBA players wear:
- Association Edition Jerseys. These are the typical white (or light-colored) jerseys of the team. Previously, it was known as the “home” jersey but is now called Association Edition jerseys after the league abolished the traditional “home” and “away” uniforms in the 2017-18 season.
- Icon Edition Jerseys. Previously known as “road jerseys” or “away uniforms.” These jerseys are often dark in color.
- Alternate Jerseys. Some NBA teams have alternate jerseys, which are different from their primary jerseys. These alternate jerseys feature alternative colors with strong connections to the team. For example, the Miami Heat’s primary colors are white and red, but their alternate jersey is black.
- Statement Jerseys. Introduced in recent years, statement jerseys are unique designs that teams wear to make a bold statement about their identity. These jerseys often have striking colors or patterns and are used for particular games throughout the season.
- City Edition Jerseys. City edition jerseys are an exciting addition to the NBA uniform lineup. They are designed to represent the spirit and culture of the team’s city. These jerseys often feature local symbols, landmarks, or cultural elements and are a tribute to the team’s fans and the city they represent.
- Earned Edition Jerseys. According to the NBA website, the earned edition jerseys are exclusive to teams that have made the NBA playoffs in the previous season. These jerseys are a reward for their successful performance and are generally variations of their existing jersey designs.
All of these jerseys are officially licensed NBA merchandise, and they are designed to provide fans with a wide range of options to support their favorite teams and players. Throughout the NBA season, players will wear various combinations of these jersey types, making the games visually diverse and exciting for fans.
Wrapping Things Up: Do NBA Players Get New Jerseys Every Game?
Aside from the fact that it’s one of the greatest athletic spectacles on the planet, a massive part of the NBA basketball experience is the team jerseys. It’s as diverse as a kaleidoscope, making the game more fun and exciting. Players wear several types of NBA jerseys, such as the Association and Icon editions, alternate jerseys, earned edition jerseys, and more.
But have you ever asked, “Do NBA players get new jerseys every game?” No, they don’t. Teams give them around four to six of each jersey for the season, so that means every used jersey after the game is going into the washing machine more often than not. If players want to wear more than the team’s assigned jerseys, they must use their own money. Still, with the possibility of putting each game-worn jersey up for auction, it’s money well spent.
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.