It’s that time of year. Where you are just as likely to see someone rocking a LeBron James or Derrick Rose jersey at CVS as you are Harold Minor Miami Heat or Spud Webb Atlanta Hawks jersey.
Hoopsters are sports version of being a hipster minus bringing a typewriter to Starbucks. It’s an opportunity to flex your sports knowledge by rocking a jersey that only a select group of people will get. It takes no effort to know who Carmelo Anthony is, that’s not interesting. What is interesting is knowing who Drazen Petrovic is, why he was so awesome, and then giving the person rocking it some dap for rocking it (which is something that I recommend all hoopsters do if they see someone rocking a jersey they dig. The validation of someone else loving the random jersey you are wearing is well worth the $50 that you spend on eBay to purchase it. It’s part of the hoopster culture).
There are many different types of hoopsters. There are hoopsters that like to rock retro 90’s players that were awesome, but to a certain level of awesome (you can only be so good before it’s just a sweet jersey – and there is definitely a distinction). A Larry Johnson Charlotte Hornets jersey would be a great example of this. LJ was bad ass while on the Hornets and most of us fell in love with him during his ConverseGrandmama campaign. I know that I had this poster on my wall back in the day. Some other jerseys that would fall in this category are Penny Hardaway Orlando Magic (which is probably the most common hoopster jersey out there) and Shawn Kemp Seattle Supersonics. These players were baller but not crazy elite so it was cool to like them. Everyone had a favorite non-MJ player so that’s typically who falls in this category.
Then there are Hoopsters, like myself, that are the Ron Jaworski’s of their craft and want to flex their sports knowledge by rocking the most random jerseys they can find. Yinka Dare, Cherokee Parks, Shandon Anderson, Chris Childs. Yes please.
I grew up loving the NBA of the late 80’s/90’s and as crazy as it sounds now, it was actually my favorite sport over football (which is saying something considering I’m from Pittsburgh). Magic, Larry, the Bad Boys, Nique’, the Admiral, Sir Charles, the Dream Team, oh and of course the great basketball player ever, Michael Jordan. I gobbled up the NBA like I had a fever and and the only cure was more cowbell. The NBA was more cowbell. Because of that I can pretty much list off pretty much every player, superstar down to scrub level, of that time.
That’s why rocking the most obscure players possible is the route I go (to a certain point. There are instances in which a jersey is so random and obscure, like a Del Curry Virginia Tech jersey, where rocking it does not have it’s desired effect. It’s too obscure to be cool). It shows your extreme level of fandom and knowledge like few other ways can.
Currently I own what I believe is one of the greatest collection of random jerseys know to man. Here’s what’s hanging in my rafters.
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf Sacramento Kings
Austin Croshere Indiana Pacers
Michael Olowokandi Los Angeles Clippers
Mitch Richmond Team USA
Ed O’Bannon New Jerseys Nets
Malik Sealy Detroit Pistons (the year with the teal and the crazy horse) – not shown
Morris Peterson Toronto Raptors – not shown
That’s what you call going hard in the paint with random jerseys. By the way, of all the jerseys I own rocking the Austin Croshere Pacers makes me feel the grossest when it’s on. When I saw it on eBay I knew that I couldn’t pass it up, it was just too good/bad. Croshere is the poster child for short term success followed by a big contract and not living up to expectations, all while being a white guy. Combine that plus being on the Pacers, who are possibly the least exciting team over the last 20 years (especially since I wasn’t a Reggie Miller fan), and you’ve got gross.
What are Hoopsters to do with His Airness, Michael Jordan? Include me in the group that revears Michael Jordan like he invented TIVO, The Wire, and macaroni and cheese. He is so awesome that anyone on earth would want to rock his jersey so there’s no way that we can punish someone for wearing one.
We can’t run a site dedicated to hoopsters and random jerseys without including MJ so we have to make special accommodations for him (as if he’d want it any other way). That’s why it is our mission to capture as many different versions of Michael Jordan jerseys as possible. Here’s a few that we’ve already captured: Michael Jordan 1996 All Star jersey, Half Bulls Half Bullets Michael Jordan jersey, Michael Jordan Chicago White Sox #45 jersey, Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls #45 jersey.
On top of all the random MJ jerseys our goal is to create the greatest random jersey hoopster database that you can find on the Internet. For this we need your help. If you see a hoopster rocking a random jersey which meets our standards listed above then snap a pic and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BaconSports. Make sure you use #randomjersey when doing it on Twitter. Also, if you think that you’ve got a random jersey collection that can rival mine then we want to hear from you. We’d love to profile your jersey collection and show you some love.
Here are some tips for you if you see a random jersey on the street that you need to take a pic of so that it has the best shot at making it on the site.
- If at all possible go up to the hoopster and give them some dap for the jersey. After that ask them if you can take their pic so that you aren’t a creeper. 99% of the time they’ll be more than willing since you are just showing them some love. Also make sure to tell him that we’ll be posting the jersey on Bacon Sports.
- If it’s not possible to go up to the person then make sure that the picture is clear. We are all about quality and we aren’t going to post jersey pictures that aren’t clear. Think of it this way, you’d be very upset if all of Kate Upton’s pictures came in blurry so take the extra second to get a good shot off with your camera.
Lastly, over the 4th of July weekend Hoopster Nation was in full force in Chicago. Here’s some of the best jerseys that I saw and if this is any indication as to the type of season it’s going to be then we are in for a treat.
This Muhsin Muhammad Chicago Bears jersey kicked off my 4th of July holiday. God bless America.
My boy Ken Schulman going hard with his Chris Webber Washington Bullets jersey.
Nothing say Happy Birthday America like an Edgerrin James Colts jersey.
When I went up to this hoopster to give him dap for his Bonzi Wells Trail Blazers jersey it was like I was Santa bringing a Nintendo power glove to a 12 year old. This guys girlfriend was giving him crap ahead of time for wearing that jersey saying that no one would know who it was. Then I appeared and completely validated everything that he was hoping would happen. My man!
Calbert Cheaney Washington Bullets jersey. Definitely one of my favorite random jerseys ever.
Only making it because it’s the 4-5. This is definitely one of the more common jerseys (though it does get dap because it’s 45).
I celebrate the 4th of July by rocking my Mitch Richmond Team USA jersey. This was definitely a day for Team USA jerseys as I also saw a Shaq and Hakeem (I was on a bike so I couldn’t snap a pic of either).
This Penny Hardaway 1996 All Star jersey is an absolute gem. Mad props for this, bro.
This is the first time I’ve ever seen a Steve Nash Santa Clara jersey. Definitely a jersey of the year nominee.
At a Cypress Hill/G.Love/311 concert I ran into this guy rocking a Drazen Petrovic Nets jersey (yes that’s correct, I saw Cypress Hill at the age of 33). This is probably the most common of the elite jerseys you’ll see out there.
Bacon + Beer + Sports = the Greatest Celebration to ever hit Chicago. Get ready to have your mind blown!
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- Jerseys we captured at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and other festivals
- A bunch of random jerseys sent in by you, the fans
- Amazing random jerseys captured at Cubs opening day
- Jersey of the Year Nominee: JR Reid
- Absurdly bad and random jerseys captured at the Pirates vs Cubs game