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ManCalledAmp

International Basketball Unis

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It's your favorite post-count-padder Git here with something I've been sitting on for quite some time: international basketball. Ironically, when I decide to finally post it, I notice the Mexican American-rules football unis post near the top as well. Great minds think alike, I suppose...but in this case, maybe I just got lucky.

Anyway, over the past few years I've struggled to learn more about FIBA's international club basketball. When American college players just aren't quite up to the NBA level, many of them go overseas, to play for teams in France, Italy, Russia, Germany, Croatia, Poland, Turkey, Israel, and many more. Great Britain is beginning to show signs of life in the basketball world, and Asia's offering is strengthening as well--Korea's been strong, the Australians have decent leagues, China has produced a couple of NBA players already, and Japan's first true pro league has some NBA connections and has grown every year.

That is where I'm going to start first on this thread: Japan's "Basketball Japan" League, or (as it's actually called....) the bJ-League. No, I'm not making that up.

Anyway, Euro jerseys, as one might expect, are ad-covered and confusing much of the time. (I hope to put some of those up soon enough.)

However, as the bJ-League hasn't even played 5 seasons yet, the jersey evolution has been an interesting one.

yr2albirex89ers2.jpg

Note this picture, from the second year of the league. The Orange-clad Niigata Albirex-BB (named for the soccer side) sport ads, a traditional layout, and a solid color scheme. Their opponents, the Sendai 89ers, have offset numbers like one would see below text, baseball style. However...the text is not there.

yr2albirex89ers.jpg

Numbers on both jerseys are easy to read...I don't mind the universal name-drop...but it still looks silly.

yr2albirexhomes.jpg

A closer look at Niigata's year two home tops.

yr2ew.jpg

And while they aren't much for fashion in the bJ-League...it certainly gives us something to talk about...

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yr2ew.jpg

Lets not let the Nuggets see this pic.

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They also had a problem with clashing sometimes in year two...

yr2albirex3.jpg

yr2clashingmuch.jpg

I'd also like to point out that they (Niigata) do have white tops...or at least, they did in the first year of the league.

albirexyear1a.jpg Facing the Saitama Broncos, in green.

And their slightly different year one dark unis, for comparison: yr1albirex3.jpg

yr1albirex.jpg Note another blank-front top.

And for those who were wondering, the teal-and-white pinstriped team is the Takamatsu Five-Arrows, and there's more to come. Also, for whatever reason, the Albirex played in some games without the NSG on the front...I'm assuming they were playoff games, but I'm not sure, as I'm not even at elementary school level when it comes to reading Japanese, and there's not much coverage out there in English. Plus, I saved these pics a loooong time ago. If you want to see more, please let me know.

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Nice. I'm always interested in sports unis from around the world. I'd love to see some of the more 'interesting' designs some of the Euro teams used in the 80s.

As for the British leagues, I've got a ton of pictures from the early to late 90s in my files somewhere, along with a couple of replica jerseys and some team-issue Birmingham Bullets gear. When I get home later in the week I'll see if I can't dig 'em out.

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yr2ew.jpg

Lets not let the Nuggets see this pic.

looks like more of a New Orleans jersey too me, though they should also be kept away from this picture.

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