It’s crazy how a jersey could have so much value.
Different jerseys usually hold some sort of significance for me. My Kevin Garnett Timberwolves and Shane Battier old school Grizzlies jersey hold sentimental value, as those were the first jerseys my dad ever gave me. From a historical standpoint, I’ve always loved the rookie jerseys I received for Christmas — LeBron James, Kevin Durant Sonics, Greg Oden Trail Blazers, and Emeka Okafor Bobcats. There are some that I value for style purposes, both Grizzlies and non-Grizzlies — yes, I’m definitely talking about the “jersey over the hoodie” look.
In a broader sense, different jerseys hold value and are iconic for certain cities.
A red Michael Jordan jersey in Chicago.
Navy Tom Brady jersey, or the white David Ortiz jersey for Boston.
Green Brett Favre jersey for Milwaukee.
Derek Jeter pinstripe jersey for New York.
The list could go on and on. However, there’s not one that stands out for Memphis. Memphians have jerseys for each player in the Core 4, but there isn’t a specific jersey of them that everyone has. The Penny Hardaway Memphis State jerseys are fly, but those are also rarities. The city also doesn’t have any other major professional sports team, so it really limits us to just the Memphis Grizzlies and Memphis Tigers.
Earlier this month, the Grizzlies announced that they’ll be bringing back the Vancouver Grizzlies and the OG Memphis threads, along with a retro court, over the next two years to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the franchise and the 20th year in Memphis.
With that being said, as these almost universally popular jerseys are making a comeback, every fan — both of the Grizzlies and jerseys in general — will be chomping at the bit for one. When it comes to which player they will choose, it’ll probably be Ja Morant.
If that’s the case, the Ja Morant Vancouver Grizzlies jersey could become that iconic jersey that everyone owns around the city.
It’s no shade at all, as Jaren Jackson Jr. jerseys will sell like hot cakes as well, but most fans may already own one of him. In addition, you’ll see someone with a jersey of a random player here and there. However, nobody has a Ja Morant jersey yet, and people will be eagerly waiting for the one with the cool retro design.
Do you blame them though?
For starters, it’s hard to ignore Morant’s potential, as well as his possible star power. While he has a high enough ceiling to become a perennial All-Star, he also possesses an element of flash we haven’t seen in Memphis in a very long time, if ever. There aren’t many point guards in this league that can drop jaw-dropping dimes one play, then cram a dunk on someone’s head the next one. As each of those kinds of plays pass, Ja’s popularity will only rise.
In addition, the appeal of the Vancouver Grizzlies throwbacks are strong. I’ve seen people wear those jerseys without even knowing who Mike Bibby is — which is quite sad. Brad’s and Chad’s across the city will want this re-released retro jersey, and Morant will be the flashiest option for them — until dozens of other bros are all rocking it at the function. Besides that point, Memphians — or casual NBA fans in general — are likely to be more inclined to buy a Vancouver Grizzlies jersey, since there’s an actual tie to the player. It makes sense, right? You’d rather have a Ja Morant Vancouver Grizzlies jersey, instead of a Mike Bibby or Shareef Abdur-Rahim one, right?
There’s just something about a Ja Morant Vancouver Grizzlies jersey that enamors me. Some of it is me just being a big jersey guy — not hard to guess that one. I’ve always loved the Vancouver Grizzlies scheme too. However, the idea of having a Ja Morant jersey from his rookie year seems like a really cool nostalgic item years down the road.
Ja’s star power and the hype surrounding the throwback Vancouver Grizzlies jersey are huge selling points for any Grizz fan. However, if Morant becomes a homegrown star for the next decade-plus similar to athletes such as Russell Westbrook, Tom Brady, Brett Favre, David Ortiz, or even Mike Conley, that retro jersey from his rookie year could become so valuable.
It could very well become the most iconic jersey in the history of Memphis sports.