Jordan Jersey 86-87


1996 Jordan All Star Uniform
Case #1

I was asked to review a 1996 Game Used Allstar uniform worn by Michael Jordan during the 96 Allstar game hosted by San Antonio.
As we know Jordan was selected as the MVP that year. The uniform is unique in it's own sense since it's a one time design made especially for the 1996 All Star festivities.  It's the first time the East squad donned a color that wasn't the normal red,blue or white.  The mesh jersey which manufactered by Champion that year, was a teal/ or off green color. The front of the jersey's design had a chili pepper and an image of a basketball. Also noting that th numeral font is also different then the previous years.

According to my source, a very well known auction house had Michael's hallowed 96 uniform up on the auction block. The uniform comes with a impeccable letter of provenance from the Basketball Hall of Fame stating how it was on "LOAN" and displayed during their 1996 Enshrinement weekend.

Ok, let's look at this in depth, first off I have several issues with the letter itself. The letter states It was on "loan" and displayed during the 96 Enshrinement weekend. The jersey was loaned by a collector. The Hall's letter never states the origin of the jersey nor did they state that It was Michael's "Actual" uniform that he wore during that specific game. So is it Michael's actual jersey? What I do know is that during that weekend a very limited run of "ALMOST" identical jerseys were acquired by a few collectors. Most were size 46 and one collector did end up with one or two pairs of shorts which are extremely rare to acquire. I also know that specific uniform was signed by Michael during the following year Charitabulls event. So with all of these so called game issued "Allstar" jerseys floating around, how do we know that this one is the actual Holy Grail worn by Michael during the 1996 AllStar game? 

I did some heavy in depth research on this specific uniform. Now since it's a one time design it's difficult to make a totally accurate call unless you have inspected and handled Jordan's jersey after he was done wearing it.

The specs that were given: Jersey size :"48" +3 extra body length.
The trunks: size: "36" +2 inseam +2 Extra rise.

First thing that came to my mind was a size "48" jersey? which is an oddball size for MJ that specific year.  Michael's Home 1995-96 uniform that was auctioned off by the Charitibulls in Feb. 1996 was worn during the first half of the 95-96 season and the "Only" uniform Michael wore from October 95 to Feb 96.  Jersey specs
size "46" (single tag) with Michael's standard 3" extra length noted on an inside tag of the jersey. Trunks were from the 1994-95 season...yes, the previous year. Trunk size: 38 +2 Rise and +3 Inseam.

Now my question is this, why would Champion or Michael deviate from his normal sizing for that specfic year? Hummm, good question.  I then proceeded to sift through images and video from the game.
I noticed several issues when I did a comparison to the uniform that was being auctioned off.

I have noticed multiple issues with the auction shorts when compared to Jordan's pair.
The first thing that I noted was the placement of the NBA embroidered logo on the left lower section of the shorts.
Now to my knowledge (and this is only on items that I've seen and I don't have access to the exact specific measurments that's in Champions files) but the shorts logo normally measures around 1 1/2" give or take a few 1/16s". Now again, I don't have the shorts in my hands to measure it myself but by eyeballing the auctioned shorts and an image of Jordan wearing the AS uniform you can clearly see that they are two different pairs of shorts.  Again,since I do not have either shorts in my hands I did the next best thing by magnifying the image and photoshopping the logo and making the copy of the logo the same size as the original one that's on the shorts. This way, it will give me a sense of measurment. These are the results I came up with.

Image courtesy of Getty Images
Image courtesy of Getty Images
Photoshopped closeup of the NBA Logo.
Image of MJ from the 96 /AS Game with photoshopped additional logo demonstrating the extra length. image courtesy of Getty Images
Closeup of the photoshopped logo. I made the logo identical in size to the one that's one his shorts. It's clear that the pair MJ is wearing is at least 1" longer then the auctioned shorts.

 The second problematic area involves the orange triangles down the side piping of the shorts. Jordan's pair has the standard (9) nine triangles on the left and (9) nine on the right. The auctioned pair had nine (9) on the left and only eight (8) triangles on the right side.
On close inspection of the left side piping on Michael's shorts,  the top most triangle near the waistband  shows roughly 1/2 half of the triangle only, as opposed to the auctioned pair which demonstrates 3/4s of the triangle.  Secondly, the bottom triangle documented on Jordan's pair is visibly missing on the auction pair most likely due to the missing added extra length that is evident on Jordan's pair.  The spacing of the triangles are a  pretty subtle finding, but on multiple views it's pretty distinct.

3/4 triangle on the auction pair
Michael's actual pair, demonstrating a 1/2 triangle
Another image of the left side of Michael's shorts captured via video still
In game image demonstrating Jordan's left side of his trunks.
Magnified side by side image of the left trunk design. Arrows clearly indicate the additional length on Jordan's pair. Visually, the "zig zag" on Jordan's pair is stretched out compared to the auctioned pair to accomodate the added 1" extra length.
The third problematic area involves the right side of the auctioned pair.  By comparing video captured stills from the 1996 Allstar game I noticed that the right side of the auctioned pair is completely off. Actually it's a mirrored/reversed pattern compared to Jordan's pair.  Both triangles as well as the white design piping is completely reversed.
Auction pair. Note the white area demonstating the triangle/piping pattern
Image courtesy of Getty Images demonstrate the correct pattern.
In game still taken from a dvd capture
Side by side comparison
Auctioned Pair
Let's move on to the hallowed jersey-

In depth evaluation on the auction jersey also demonstrated multiple issues in several key areas.

The most noticable would be the "NOB" or the name on back font.  I placed lines on the images so that the readers can visually see the differences on the letter spacing. Most noticeable would be the "N" in Jordan.  The "N"  on Jordan's pair starts at the ending of the upslope of the number #3. The "N" on the auction jersey clearly begins before the ending of the upslope of the #3.
The Auctioned Jersey with demonstrated placement of the "N"
DVD captured still demonstrating the "N" placement on Jordan's actual Jersey
Click on the image to expand
Click on the image to expand
Click on the image to expand

The second problematic area I noticed on the auction jersey involves the right side piping. Again,  a total reversed/mirror design when compared to Jordan's jersey.

Right side piping of the auction jersey. Note the white arrows demonstrating the design of interest
DVD captured image of Jordan in the locker room. Note the arrows demonstrating the correct design placement.
The final and most subtle area that I noticed, and this will give you a sense of how insane I am when it comes to PROVING a piece of uniform that was actually WORN by Jordan.
During the manufacturing of the Allstar jerseys were a two part process (regards to the front design). The basketball,Chilipepper and stars are done by print screening or the old term "silk screening". The numbers/numerals are then sewn on seperately.
I have taken a very special note on how the paint is laid down onto the jersey on how the paint covers certain areas and non uniformly doesn't cover all of the mesh holes. This fantastic documentation alone demonstrates the uniqueness of Michael's jersey as no two jerseys will be identical.

Noticed the difference on placement of the stem of the chilipepper
Notice how the mesh holes show through the black star design on the auctioned jersey. (Click to expand the image)
Complete fill in where no mesh holes are noted on Jordan's actual jersey (Click to expand the image)
Notice the pattern of the mesh holes on the red portion of the chilipepper design on the auction jersey (Click to expand the image)
Meshhole fill in on Jordan's Jersey. (Click to expand the image)
Last but not least, another image showing the mesh hole pattern on the silk screened star on the auction jersey (arrow)
In conclusion, the auctioned uniform is indeed a very nice 1996 Jordan Allstar procut with very nice authentic signatures on both the shorts and jersey. But with the side by side comparisons it's clearly obvious it's not the actual AllStar uniform Jordan wore during the 1996 Allstar game.

So where is the real deal? probably somewhere in Michael's closet is my guess.
Until the next review.....