Last weekend, I attended the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California. It was my third time going to Coachella, and my first in the era of the Hoopster. Oftentimes, following a major music festival such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, or Lollapalooza, Deadspin will publish a photo gallery of bros wearing vintage NBA jerseys, usually under the heading “Look at This #&$%ing Hoopster,” the idea being to make fun of those who try to turn throwback jerseys into a hipster fashion statement. I don’t agree with this worldview—I actually, legitimately think it’s cool that people wear obscure jerseys to music festivals headlined by Radiohead and the Black Keys. The weirder, the better. Besides that, it was well over 100 degrees all three days of this particular edition of Coachella. Wearing a sleeveless jersey seems like a logical move. With that in mind, here are some photos I took over the course of the weekend of my favorite out-of-left-field jerseys, for your enjoyment.
The jersey sightings were impressive right out of the gate. There was no name on the back of this one, but a once-over of Vancouver Grizzlies rosters on Basketball Reference narrows it down to Cherokee Parks and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. Part of me really hopes taking the name off was a conscious decision, because that would mean he couldn’t decide which of those two players he’d rather rep.
I sadly wasn’t able to get a picture of my favorite jersey pairing of the weekend: twin #1 Magic jerseys walking together, one Penny and one T-Mac. This is the next-best thing.
I guess someone besides me likes these Miami jerseys:
I didn’t see as many LeBron James jerseys as I thought I would—maybe just one or two each of his Cavs and Heat uniforms. None of them topped this St. Vincent-St. Mary’s one, however:
The Chris Paul jersey in the above photo is the only one I ran across. I didn’t see any Blake Griffin jerseys, either. Rumors of the Clippers taking over southern California may be exaggerated. In fact, the only Clips jersey I saw the entire weekend was this one:
Tragically uncaptured jersey pairing No. 2: a Magic Johnson and a Derek Fisher, standing together waiting for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg to come on. I’ll just have to create a hologram of that picture while you enjoy the missing link between the Lakers point guards:
Speaking of Fisher, one of St. Vincent’s roadies showed his solidarity with his’s latest battle with the NBPA. For the sake of every past and future festivalgoer, I hope he requests an audit of the price of bottled water.
He wasn’t the only festival worker rocking a jersey. One of The Weeknd’s guitar techs went for Dennis Rodman. That’s sort of appropriate.
As expected, the most ubiquitous player represented over the course of the weekend was the greatest of all time. The vast majority of the Michael Jordan jerseys I saw were the standard No. 23, but I also saw a couple of Dream Teamers that I sadly could not get on camera. That leaves us with this:
Continuing with the Bulls for a second, the most common current player I saw was Derrick Rose. This is mildly surprising, since Coachella is technically held in Lakers territory (Kobe was a close second, however). I didn’t bother taking any pictures of Rose jerseys because they were everywhere, but I did run into this, which I’m not sure what to make of:
Here’s a Jerry Stackhouse Sixers jersey:
And a Michael Finley Suns one, continuing the trend of journeymen represented by the teams they played with only briefly at the beginnings of their careers:
Alonzo Mourning, Charlotte Hornets:
Current Knicks were sort of underrepresented—a few Amare’s here, a few Melo’s there, but otherwise not much. I’m heartbroken I wasn’t able to get a picture of the dude in a Melo Nuggets jersey and a Seattle Supersonics snapback—my guess is that being friends with him would involve a lot of forcing his way out of situations at his own convenience. Also shockingly underrepresented was one Jeremy Lin. I didn’t see one single Knicks, Warriors, or Harvard Lin jersey. I can live with that, however, because the one Lin jersey I did see is the single greatest basketball-jersey sighting of my life, a distinction it probably won’t lose anytime soon: a Reno Bighorns jersey, from the D-League. For those who know their Lin chronology, that’s the D-League squad he played for last season, while he was a member of the Warriors, which makes it even more incredible.