What Size NBA Jersey Should I buy?

If you're a basketball fan, a die-hard one or not, you should have a Jersey. That is non-negotiable. How else will you let the world know what team you support?

Jerseys are great for showing off your favorite player. They are also great for starting conversations about the game. If you allow it, your jersey can strike up a competitive talk with fans who support other players or teams. It doesn't matter; what is essential is your love and dedication to the game.

When buying a jersey, you should consider some factors just like you would for other clothes. The quality, the price, the size, and many more things may bother you. That is normal, and many other people feel the same way. We will explain some of these factors and give you pointers to know your jersey buying guides. 


Basketball jerseys, like any other sports jersey, come in different sizes. The ones the players wear on the court are, of course, specially made for them and are less available to fans. You can get to wear the same jersey your favorite player wears if they gift it to you. Although it is possible, we all know that is very rare. 

Unless your favorite player gives you one, the closest you can get to wearing a similar jersey is to buy an original type. Although there are rules for wearing a jersey for the players, those rules do not apply to you. As a fan, you've got the liberty to decide if you want to model your favorite player or follow your fashion trend. 

Maybe you found a new team or started to like a different player. The most critical question now is what size NBA jersey should you buy? First off, let's find out the types you will find in the market.

Available NBA Jerseys Types in the Market

There are different brands making basketball jerseys for fans. However, there are three general types of jerseys.

1. Authentic Jerseys: These are original, embroidered, incredibly designed fan jerseys. They make these jerseys with premium touches and finishes. The jerseys are of excellent quality, and they stitch the numbers on. That makes these jerseys almost the same as what you see players wear on the court.

You should know that being authentic means that they will be expensive. Nevertheless, this is the closest you can get to wearing what your favorite player wears. That means value for the money you pay. 

2. Swingman Jerseys: These are the replica versions of the authentic. As you may have guessed, they are less pricey. Swingman jerseys are more common among fans due to their affordability.

In addition, these jerseys are great-looking and have their designs and touches. However, the brands who make these do not stitch the numbers like authentic jerseys. 

3. Throwback Jerseys: As the name implies, these are not current jerseys of current players. They are the throwbacks, also called the vintage jerseys.

These may be throwback jerseys of a retired or dead player. They could also be a throwback of what a current player wore at a past game. Throwback jerseys can either be authentic or swingman. 

NBA Jersey Brands to Consider

These are the three standard jersey types for fans. Adidas, Nike, fanatics, and Mitchell & Ness usually produce them. That doesn't mean you won't find other brands apart from them. Other brands exist, but these brands are perfect if you prefer quality NBA jerseys. 

  1. Nike/Adidas generally produces authentic versions. They also have their swingman replica versions. 
  2. Fanatics fast-break produces only swingman versions, which are usually cheaper than other brands of swingman jerseys. We recommend a fanatic brand jersey if you are looking for a more pocket-friendly jersey. 
  3. Mitchell & Ness specialize in making only throwback jerseys. They produce both authentic and swingman throwback jerseys. 

If you're wondering which of these brands is the best, they all are great. Choosing one should largely depend on what you want and how much you can afford to pay. 

How to Know Your NBA Jersey Size

Picking a perfect size NBA jersey depends on the type of jersey, the brand, and your clothing measurement. You should measure your body size before buying a jersey. To do that, get a tape measure and measure across your chest to get the fitting size. 

For the length, that would depend on what you prefer. If you like a tight fit, measure from shoulder to waist. For a regular or standard fit, measure from shoulder to the hip area. Increase chest and length measurement according to the size you prefer.

How to Pick the Right NBA Jersey Size

When selecting a jersey size, keep three things in mind:

1. Long basketball jerseys: Your jersey is not a regular shirt in your wardrobe. It should be longer. Try going a size up when picking a jersey, except it is a regular fit. Also, your jersey shouldn't be so long that it looks like a dress; that's a big NO! All it needs to do is hang a bit, not long enough to be tucked in your shorts or pants. 


2. Brands size their jerseys differently: When buying your Jersey, one of the first things to consider is the brand to buy. The next should be finding out the sizes the brand makes. All jersey-making brands have different sizes. The dimensions are not universal.

If you are looking for a loose, slim, or regular fit, you need to know which brand does that. Adidas/Nike makes slim-fit sizes for their authentic and swingman jerseys. Therefore, you may consider going a size up if you buy this.

Fanatics jerseys are standard fit. They should be perfect for you when you pick a size. Michelle & Ness, however, makes slim-fit throwback swingman jerseys and extra slim sizes for their authentic jerseys. If you are buying those, you do have to size up. 

3. Decide on how to wear your jersey: This may sound unimportant, but it is crucial. There are different ways to wear your jersey. You can wear them just as they are, or you can wear them on an undershirt. You may want to put a jacket over it too. There are several ways to rock a jersey. When buying, you need to consider this. 

For example, if you buy a short, slim, slim-fit and decide to wear it on an undershirt, it will look weird.

Apart from being uncomfortable, it wouldn't look too good on you. It will not look too good if you wear a baggy jersey with large openings at the armpit and chest area without an undershirt. You can skip this step if you are not too bothered about looking good in your Jersey.

If you are, consider how you will wear it before buying that jersey.

Where to Buy Your Jersey

After considering the three things we mentioned above, you can get your jersey. You may shop online or walk into a shop and get your jersey when buying. 

1. Walk-in the shop: This may be the best option for you. That is because you get to see the jerseys physically. As a result of that, you know all the options that are available to you. You can try wearing as many jerseys as you want, but don't overdo it, except you intend to buy all the jerseys you tried.

Another advantage of walking into a shop is that you don't need to know your size upfront. You can find out what you like after trying out jerseys that fit. If you don't want to buy right away, you can take note of the size and brand you prefer and make an order online. Or go back when you make up your mind. 

2. Online shopping: For this one, you are likely to get good deals—better pricing and maybe the same option you would find in a shop.

When ordering online, you have to be very particular about your size. Make sure you know the measurement you need. Ask the vendors and be meticulous about it.

When you buy online, note the brands too. Remember that the sizes differ by brand. Don't pick a medium size for a brand and assume it would fit another brand.

Conclusion: NBA Jersey Size to Buy

Jerseys are great for showing support to your club and its players. However, picking the right one is tasking. If you are down for it financially, pick an authentic jersey. Swingman jerseys are great, too, if you are on a budget. 

If you want your jersey to hang a little and compliment you, remember to size up. Style your jersey as you'd like, wear an undershirt if you wish. Rock it casually to the grocery store, drive around in it or wear it to your next basketball game. 

It doesn't matter what you do with it. Get that jersey and show the world that you're a big fan of the game.

You might also like: What to Wear to A Basketball Game?

Joshua Bast

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.

Joshua Bast