As the NBA’s popularity boomed with the arrival of Magic Johnson, so did the fervor for hoops apparel, with aspiring hoops players donning their favorite players’ colors and running the courts on playgrounds and in the gym. This particular piece is desirable on two fronts: it showcases the bold autograph of Magic Johnson; and it hails from the period during which the basketball craze began.
Tailored from bright-yellow knit, this early-1980s Los Angeles Lakers warm-up jacket features a team logo patch sewn to the left breast, with purple-and-white striped patterns lining the shoulders, waistline and short-sleeve endings. On the right breast, Johnson has signed in black marker (“8” strength) and inscribed “#32.” The button-down garment features a 4”-wide collar lined with purple trim. Within the collar, a “Sand-Knit/MacGregor size “44” label is accompanied by an NBA silhouette logo size “L” tag. The tagging and elements of this retail souvenir date to the early-1980s. This was a rare retail offering and, by many accounts, the predecessor to the subsequent keepsakes issued by Mitchell & Ness. Basic cert from JSA (for autograph).