NBA All Star Game 2020: Look out for fake jerseys, hats, t-shirts, other merchandise

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The NBA All-Star Game is bringing big names and plenty of counterfeit jerseys, hats, and other merchandise to Chicago.

"It's a marquee event, and counterfeiters all over the country typically come to All-Star to ply their goods, so you got to be really careful," said Michael Potenza, vice president and assistant general counsel - intellectual property for the NBA.

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Potenza said fake hats and t-shirts are some of the most popular counterfeited items.

"If you want to get real stuff, you have to go to authorized retailers," Potenza said.

Many times fakes are sold from street vendors or online, according to Potenza. When in doubt, he said to look for the NBA hangtag or hologram, and make sure that's real too.

"If you see at the bottom there is a hologram," he explained. "You want to kind of move that around in the light and you'll see a very sharp, colorful basketball where you can see details."

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And even if you're willing to settle for the cheap, fake merchandise, you should know there are still repercussions.

"For those people who think counterfeiting is a victimless crime, it's really not. It hurts local business who are playing by the rules and paying taxes who are hiring fellow Chicagoans," Potenza said.

The BA said real hats and t-shirts would go for $20 or more, and also usually have the Nike brand or 47 brand attached.

If an item seems like too good of a deal, it is probably fake.
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