What was a black eye for Nike on the opening night of the NBA season might do some good in the end.
It was big deal when Nike took over as the supplier of NBA uniforms for the 2017-28 season, and the company couldn’t have started off its new era of jerseys in more embarrassing fashion. There the new unis were, on display for the whole world to see when the Cleveland Cavaliers played the Boston Celtics on opening night, and one of them ripped — and it happened to be the one worn by LeBron James.
While Nike is in full damage control mode trying to make sure nothing like that happens again, some good is coming out of the tear seen ’round the world. LeBron’s jersey is part of the NBA Auction that is giving 100 percent of its proceeds to OneAmericaAppeal.org, a charity started by the five living former presidents that is dedicated to helping the victims of the recent hurricanes.
There are a number of game-worn jerseys included in the auction, but none quite like the LeBron ripped one. Its current price? A cool $10,060, with more than six days left to go at the time of this article.
One of the main concerns of collectors when it comes to game-worn memorabilia is making sure it’s legit. Between the fact that it’s an NBA Auction and that unmistakable (and unforgettable) tear right down the back means there are no such concerns here.
On top of that, while game-worn jerseys from top stars like LeBron often fetch five-digit prices, the charity aspect plus the uniqueness of this jersey — since you can be sure Nike will pull out all the stops to ensure this doesn’t happen again — could boost the closing price even higher than usual. It’s for a fantastic cause and would be a talking point forever in your house, so if you’ve got a spare ten to fifteen grand laying around, maybe check the action out before it closes on the night of Oct. 26.