Ever been shopping for NBA jerseys and found yourself wondering what was the difference between Swingman vs. Authentic jerseys?
The answer is simple: Swingman jerseys are an authentic reproduction of the team’s current jersey.
This jersey option uses mid-level fabric and features will numbers and lettering, but does not have all of the premium finishes of an authentic jersey.
They have slightly different cuts, with the arm and neck holes larger than the Authentic and heat-pressed numbers and nameplates.
Still, they closely mimic the jerseys the players wear, and are a great option for those looking for fashion without having to pay the premier price of the Authentic.
What Is Authentic Jersey?
Authentic jerseys are basically the jerseys you’ll see the players wear on the court.
They’re made of the best quality fabric with stitched lettering and nameplates, but otherwise look exactly the same as their Swingman counterparts.
Authentic NBA jerseys will also feature Dri-FIT technology which wicks away moisture, an athletic cut with a lightweight, breathable fabric and can be machine washed without harming the material of the jersey.
Nike makes all of the Authentic jerseys for the NBA.
What Is The Difference Between Swingman And Authentic?
Swingman jerseys are way cheaper than the Authentic, but will not fit as nicely.
You can play a full game of pick-up at the Y in an Authentic jersey and be totally comfortable, but if you try the same thing in a Swingman, you’ll notice that the material is not super breathable and you’ll be extra sweaty and sticky.
You’ll also find that the stitching might rub up against your skin, causing inflammation or other skin conditions.
That’s because, while Swingman jerseys look great, they’re more meant to be worn as fashion, as opposed to game day apparel.
The Swingman jerseys do a great job of replicating the look of the Authentic jersey, but they’re made with some concessions to quality so that they can be sold at a lower price point.
Swingman Vs. Authentic – Which One Is Better?
Factor # 1 Price
An Authentic NBA jersey will cost you roughly $250 USD.
There’s no two ways about this: if you want an Authentic NBA jersey, you’re going to have to pay this price unless you get REALLY lucky and find a vendor selling them at discounted prices.
Meanwhile, Swingman jerseys retail for about $100 USD.
Therefore, cost will be an important factor when considering what kind of jersey to get.
If you’re looking to own the best jersey available and have the budget to afford an Authentic jersey, then your best bet is to grab one.
Otherwise, you might have to go one rank down and grab the Swingman, which is still a great value at that price point.
Factor #2 Sizing
Swingman jerseys, in my opinion, don’t fit quite as nicely as the Authentic jerseys because the fit is a tiny bit tighter on them.
Some sites recommend sizing up when purchasing a Swingman for this exact reason.
Authentic jerseys, meanwhile, use numerical sizing instead of the lettered sizing, so you’ll have to measure your torso to determine your size.
However, they fit the same as a suit jacket, so if you’re a 44 when wearing a suit, you’ll be a 44 in an Authentic jersey (this equals Medium).
Moreover, the Nike Authentic jerseys are a little longer than the Swingman jerseys, presumably so that they can be tucked in when playing on the court.
Overall, both versions offer an athletic, slim fit, so if you want a baggier look or prefer more room, you’ll want to size up.
Below is an image of the Authentic (left) and Swingman (right) jerseys side-by-side. This will give you a better idea of the sizing.
Factor # 3 Usage
When comparing Swingman vs Authentic NBA jerseys, there is quite a significant difference in the durability and quality.
Swingman jerseys aren’t meant to be tugged at and sweated in, and you will undoubtedly have skin rashes or irritation if you do decide to play in them.
Authentic jerseys, meanwhile, fit the exact specifications of the jerseys worn by players on the court, so they’re built for this purpose.
Swingman jerseys are better for those who want to enjoy the game with a couple of friends or wear the jersey on a night out or around town.
Both look great and fit very comfortably, but only one can be actually worn on the court.