Nike has been the official supplier of NBA jerseys since the 2017-2018 season.
They actually own the rights to jersey apparel for the NBA until 2025, and paid $1 billion to do so.
However, they’re not the only makers of NBA jerseys. Some specialty jerseys are made by other companies.
Mitchell & Ness
Mitchell & Ness makes all throwback jerseys, like Karl Malone’s Purple Mountains Utah Jazz jersey and Kobe Bryant’s Gold Lakers jersey (RIP Kobe).
These also come in the standard Authentic and Swingman editions, with the Authentic being basically what the players wear on gameday. Read more on our article titled ‘Where To Buy Authentic NBA Jerseys.‘
Who Has Made NBA Jerseys In The Past?
Adidas was responsible for making NBA jerseys before Nike.
In 2006, the NBA started an 11-year deal with Adidas which obviously ran until 2017, when Nike took over.
Even before Adidas, Reebok was the exclusive apparel outfitter for what was the 29 teams in the NBA at the time.
Reebok was also responsible for making WNBA jerseys for the 16 teams in that league, and they were also the official outfitters of the U.S. Olympic team. Americans don’t really talk about the 2004 Olympic basketball, though.
The partnership with Reebok started in 2001 and lasted until Reebok took over in 2006.
Was There Any Overlap Between Manufacturers?
Yes, actually there was!
From 1989 to 1997, before Reebok came into the fold, both MacGregor Sand-Knit and Champion made jerseys for all NBA teams.
Then, in 1997, Sand-Knit dropped out, and Champion, Nike, and Starter became the official apparel for certain NBA teams.
For example, Atlanta, Indiana and the Clippers were outfitted by Champion, while Boston, Chicago and the Lakers were outfitted by the Lakers, and Charlotte, Cleveland and Denver by Starter.
This isn’t a full breakdown of the teams – you can check out a more detailed table here at wolfgangsport.
From 1999-2001, Puma took over the Starter license.
Read this article to find the best places to buy your NBA jerseys.