If you want to rep your favorite teams’ colors by wearing a jersey but don’t want to sell a kidney to do so, then a Swingman jersey is a great option. 

In terms of quality, NBA Swingman jerseys fall between authentic and replica jerseys. Swingman jerseys tend to “perform” well on the court without the risk of being too hot or falling apart. Their polyester material keeps the player cool on the court—or a packed arena.

The bonus with all jersey options—Authentic, Swingman, and Replica—is that they’re licensed by NBA teams. It gives peace of mind to know your jersey, no matter which kind you select, isn’t faulty or not-as-advertised.

If you’re new to the world of jerseys and want to learn more about the options available, stick around. We’ll break down the officially licensed jersey types in greater detail and give their pros and cons.

Jersey Types: A Breakdown

As I mentioned, the Swingman is the middle-of-the-road version of what your favorite NBA superstars wear on the court. But what else is out there? Let’s take a look:

1. Replica NBA Jerseys

NBA Replica jerseys are usually made with softer material but cost more than the Swingman jerseys. They’re cheaper than Authentic and Swingman; they’re still high-quality, though. Aside from a difference in materials, the other big drawback is their fit. They fit more like a t-shirt than a jersey. They are baggier around the chest and waist; the shoulders often have a wider look.

Ideal For: Budget-friendly is the best way to categorize Replicas. Beginner NBA fans and folks new to purchasing jerseys would be the perfect customer here. Dipping your feet into the jersey waters should be a slow process: don’t blow hundreds of dollars on an Authentic if you don’t know details like your correct size and fit. 

Some are unsure the jersey game is even right for them. How would you know, though, unless you try one out? And particularly one that stays within your budget. Replicas will be that first step for you. 

2. Authentic NBA Jerseys

Authentic jerseys are just what you think. They’re precisely the same garments your favorite athletes wear on the court. You’ll pay top dollar for Authentic jerseys, so be ready to shell out. 

So, with that price tag, what do you get? 

A perfect fit, for one. Authentic jerseys don’t bunch up at the shoulders or bottom. Your chest and waist will be snug; they support on the court or out and about. Quick sizing tip: if you prefer baggier jerseys, then choose a size up from usual.

The materials are first-class, too. Their mesh utilizes ClimaCOOL technology for breathability, while the numbers, graphics, and letters are stitched on for maximum authenticity. There is only one LeBron James—but at least we can rock his jersey while we pretend to be him.

Ideal For: Die-hards, collectors, or seasoned jersey-lovers should choose Authentics. Some people collect for resale, while others just love basketball jerseys. 

Honestly, an Authentic jersey is never the wrong way to go, as long as you can afford it and know how you want it to fit. Understand that a good-quality jersey isn’t a t-shirt, nor is it that raggedy jersey you wore playing for your high school team.

3. Swingman Jersey

Swingman jerseys provide high-quality materials and good numbers, lettering, and graphics. They’re definitely a level below Authentics, though. If you can live without the most authentic jersey, then Swingman is your ‘Man!

Check out this classic adidas Shawn Kemp throwback Swingman jersey from the 1996 All-Star Game. Kemp was a star in the league during the ‘80s and 90s but wasn’t a household name like Jordan or Barkley. His less-than-superstar notoriety makes this jersey even more coveted: You’re off the beaten path if you choose Kemp over MJ.

Another slick-looking Swingman for the NBA’s best shooter, both currently and possibly ever, is this adidas Swingman Black Alternate jersey. The short-sleeve look takes a little shoulder guesswork out of purchasing a jersey—but the fit, materials, and breathability are great for the price.

Ideal For: Regular fans looking to support their team in the arena or on the basketball court. Again, the Swingman option isn’t too cheap, but it isn’t too expensive either. 

And, because they’re licensed by the NBA, you know the quality is good enough for NBA fans everywhere. 

Final Thoughts

An NBA jersey is a worthy option whether you’re rooting for your team or hooping for the afternoon. A jersey pops when worn correctly and with the right look. Make sure you do some homework before choosing your newest one, though. 

The Swingman jersey gives the look and feel of a high-quality jersey without costing you an arm and a leg. Check one out on Amazon or your local team store today!

What is your favorite Swingman jersey that you own? Let us know in the comments section below!