Jersey Monday: LeBron James

Over on my basketball movie blog -- which you should probably check out if you haven't yet -- I just reviewed "More Than a Game", the 2008 documentary about LeBron James's St. Vincent-St. Mary's high school team that won three state titles and a national championship. So, after watching that movie, it only made sense to spotlight this jersey, one of two St. V-M LeBron jerseys I own.

Unlike my gold St. V-M jersey, which is a bootleg that I bought off eBay during his senior year of high school, this is an officially licensed throwback.  However, strangely enough, this jersey is made by Nike, while the real Irish jerseys LeBron wore during his years at the school were made by Adidas. I noticed watching the movie that the real on-court jerseys had noticeable "three stripes" branding on the back near the arm holes, something that is obviously absent from this Nike reproduction.

When LeBron came out of high school, there was obvious interest in which sneaker company he would sign with. Though Nike was considered the front-runner for financial reasons, Adidas had the inside track, both from their sponsorship of LeBron's school and LeBron's participation in their annual summer camps. In the end, Nike's big money won out, which allowed them to make this jersey. This was part of the "Talented and Gifted" line released around '04 or '05 that also featured Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Paul Pierce among others.I still wish they'd also made a white St. V-M for LeBron, since that's the only one I'm missing.

Jersey Monday will continue every Monday until I run out of jerseys to spotlight. And since I’ve got more than 150 of them, that could be awhile.

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