NBA Basketball

Unfortunately, most avid basketball fans will never see any playing time in an NBA game. However, buying your favorite team's merchandise and apparel is a great way of getting closer to the game. In any sport, it's important for any die-hard fan to show their allegiance. However, basketball fans are a breed of their own, and the way they wear their NBA gear has become a unique fashion movement.

Hip Hop's role in the NBA

It's clear that hip hop is a huge influence on many NBA players, as well as fans. Shorts that once did nothing but cover jock straps are worn so low that socks are almost unnecessary. It's become a popular trend to wear oversized, yet NBA licensed, apparel. Bigger than this trend, though, is the popularity of the throwback jersey, which is anything from a Lakers jersey with Magic Johnson's name on the back to a replica Kevin Garnett high school jersey. Throwback jerseys also enable the wearer to pay tribute to the legends of the game, celebrate the team's history and look good doing it at the same time. Frequently, you can find any recognizable hip-hop artist following these trends, as well as many NBA players (at least on days off). The influence that hip hop has had on today's youth is undeniable, and it's staying power is unmeasurable. Below is a list of the 10 most popular jerseys from 2005. * Dwayne Wade * Allen Iverson * LeBron James * Stephon Marbury * Kobe Bryant * Shaquille O'Neal * Tracy McGrady * Carmelo Anthony * Tim Duncan * Vince Carter

Things to look for when buying merchandise

* If you're shopping for a gift, and are not familiar with the team you are shopping for, do some research. Merchants selling fake goods prey on those who have no idea what they're shopping for. * When dealing with authentic jerseys, it's especially important to pay close attention to the lettering on the back. Unlicensed jerseys tend to slip through the cracks with lettering that's completely different from what the team uses, so this is another thing that potential buyers should be aware of. * Look for terms like "authentic" or "tackle twill." Some teams layer colors, and this is done through tackle twill, so if it seems as if the color scheme of a jersey is missing something, odds are that it's not authentic.

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