The biggest loser in Jeremy Lin signing with the Houston Rockets (besides the depressed New York Knicks fans) may be the retailers stuck with a glut of Jeremy Lin Knicks apparel. Yes, there is a surplus of blue-and-orange Lin swag, and NYC shopkeeps are desperate to offload it.
Prices are already being dramatically cut (to no one’s surprise). The New York Times reported this morning that Modell’s is already slashing prices:
Lin T-shirts that were $20 got a new price of $5. Lin replica jerseys were discounted to $20 from $60. Lin’s $90 swingman jerseys were cut to $40.
To paraphrase Crazy Eddie, Modell’s prices were Linsane.
However, in China, the scene is much different. Instead of sulking in Lin’s change of address, vendors are taking advantage of it.
“I saw the news that Lin was going to the Rockets, looked up his number and posted the shirt on my site,” said a vendor in coastal Jiangsu Province who would only give his surname, Chen, tacitly acknowledging his latest product likely violated copyright laws. Chen was selling Lin shirts, in red or white, for about $10 each, including shipping.
In case you’re wondering, Houston Rockets Lin gear is not yet available on NBA.com, but is said to be on its way. And in New York, maybe we’ll see a rash of nostalgic Knicks fans rocking cheapo Lin gear, dreaming of what might’ve been.