Why are letters falling off NBA replica jerseys?

Customers complain of print loosening in the wash

If you spend a hundred dollars on an official NFL or NBA jersey, you expect  it to last more than a couple of washings. Then why are people complaining about the new NBA replica jerseys?

The Dirr boys of Walton, Kentucky, love basketball, and love their basketball jerseys. But the $100 NBA jersey each got on Christmas are already unwearable.

Mom Laurie Dirr can't believe what happened after just the second washing.

"They have had them a little over 2 months, put them in the washing machine, and it is falling apart," Dirr said. "The number 3 has pulled off, completely gone from the Jersey."

These aren't knockoff jerseys: they are official NBA "Swingman" jerseys made by Nike.

But letters are peeling from both their LeBron James and Russell Westbrook jersey. "The K is peeling, it's doing the same thing," Dirr said.

Other parents complain online

It appears Laurie Dirr is not the only person having problems with these new Nike jerseys. Several retail websites, even Nike's retail website are compiling complaints from other parents saying their lettering fell off after just a couple of washes.

"I bought my son a Curry jersey and after one wash the letters on the back started falling off," one  comment says.

Another says "the numbers and lettering peeled off after the first wash. Washed it delicate and hang dried it."

Dirr says her son's 2-year old Adidas jersey, however, is still in great shape. "It's been everywhere, in the washer and dryer, soaking wet, dry, it has taken a beating and is awesome," she said.

But Nike is having growing pains, since taking over from Adidas last year: Several NBA players, including LeBron, Dramon Green, and Kevin Love, have had their new jerseys rip on the court, on national TV.

Nike has not yet responded to our inquiry, However the company tells ESPN it is working on a fix (see full statement below), and the embarrassing game day tearing appears to have stopped.  

Laurie Dill says she hopes that fix includes the kids replicas.

Whatever you buy, don't waste your money.

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"Nike has always put the athlete at the center of everything we do and we have worked hard to create the most advanced uniforms in the history of the NBA," the company said in the statement. "They are lighter and deliver great mobility and sweat wicking characteristics, and the feedback from players has been overwhelmingly positive. However, during game play we have seen a small number of athletes experience significant jersey tears. We are very concerned to see any game day tear and are working to implement a solution that involves standardizing the embellishment process and enhancing the seam strength of game day jerseys. The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance and we are working with the NBA and teams to avoid this happening in the future."



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