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Mike Bibby Jersey Mitchell and Ness: A Complete Guide

During the late 1990s and early 200s, hip-hop culture had found itself influencing and combining with many other aspects of society, including fashion and sports. This was true for the NBA, which had a complicated relationship with hip-hop but was undoubtedly shaped by it during that era. As such, jerseys that lended themselves to a design that resonated with the hip-hop-influenced scene eventually gained iconic status.

What is the 6th most iconic jersey of all time? The #6 most iconic NBA jersey of all time is the 1998-1999 Mike Bibby Vancouver Grizzlies jersey. This jersey has a teal base, and an intricate collar and armpit trim containing bear claws. The front of the jersey has a centered white, maroon, and brown 3D “Vancouver Grizzlies” lettering and white numbers. This jersey was identified by Mitchell & Ness as their best-selling jersey of all time.

Why is Mike Bibby iconic?

Mike Bibby was a decorated and hyped player well before his NBA stint, with a high school and college career full of awards and titles. Bibby was drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies in the 1998 NBA Draft, where he started strongly for the otherwise-struggling Grizzlies. After a trade to the Sacramento Kings in 2001, Bibby paired with Chris Webber to lead the Kings to the best record in the NBA, with 61 wins. The Kings were perennial playoff performers, as Bibby played well during his 7 year stint with the team. Traded to the Atlanta Hawks in 2008, Bibby’s performances began to decline slightly, although he still played a role in bringing the Hawks to the playoffs multiple times. In 2011, Bibby bounced around from the Washington Wizards to the Miami Heat and finally to the New York Knicks, where his career finished in 2012.

In his prime, Bibby was a reliable starter and could elevate his game to become the main option. During his Grizzlies and Kings stints, he could score 15 to 20 points on any given night while facilitating the offense. He finished his career with an average of 14.7 points, 5.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. While he was a consistent performer on some good teams, Bibby was unfortunate to not match his decorated high school and collegiate career. Bibby’s NBA career accomplishments include All-NBA Rookie First Team honors and a handful of playoff appearances, including an eventual NBA Finals loss.

Why is the 1998-1999 Mike Bibby Vancouver Grizzlies jersey iconic?

Mike Bibby was selected with the 2nd overall pick in the 1998-1999 NBA Draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies. The 1998-1999 NBA season was shortened to 50 games due to a lockout, but that did not make Bibby’s rookie campaign any less outstanding. He had an average of 13.2 points per game, 6.5 assists per game, and 2.7 rebounds per game, along with 1.6 steals per game. His impressive campaign led to him winning All-NBA Rookie First Team honors.

Why is the 1998-1999 Vancouver Grizzlies away jersey design iconic?

The Vancouver Grizzlies 1988-1999 jersey is made up of a teal base. The centered “Vancouver Grizzlies” lettering has a 3D, cartoon-like look. The “Vancouver” has a maroon-purple colored font, and the “Grizzlies” font has a white colored-font with light brown splotches, and a light brown shadow. The numbers are white with black and light brown outline. The collar and armpit trim is black and red, and has a design with light blue bear claws situated between light blue rectangles. 

While they had a fantastic design, the Vancouver Grizzlies did not have a fantastic season in 1998-1999. Already marred by a lockout, the Grizzlies also faced the absence of key player Bryant Reeves for large portions of the shortened season. Mike Bibby had an impressive rookie campaign, and Shareef Abdur-Rahim was a bonafide star, but that could not stop the Grizzlies from plummeting to a league-worst 8-42 record.

Who manufactured the 1998-1999 Vancouver Grizzlies away jersey?

The 1998-1999 Vancouver Grizzlies away jersey was produced by Champion. This includes both the on-court (“authentic”) and fan (“replica”) versions. During the 1998-1999 season, the license to produce authentic versions of jerseys were split between various brands, including Champion. Champion had the exclusive license to manufacture all replica versions. Currently, a reproduction of the 1998-1999 Vancouver Grizzlies away jersey is made by Mitchell & Ness.

What other major players played in the 1998-1999 Vancouver Grizzlies away jersey?

Major players to wear the 1998-1999 Vancouver Grizzlies away jersey include Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Bryant Reeves, along with Mike Bibby.

Are there other iconic Mike Bibby jersey designs?

The home version of the Mike Bibby 1998-1999 Vancouver Grizzlies jersey is also iconic. The home version is quite similar to the away version except for two major differences: the base of the jersey is white, and the white color in the lettering and numbers are replaced by a teal blue. In fact, the Bibby 1998-1999 Grizzlies home jersey ranks at #56 on SLAM Magazine’s list.

Are there other iconic Vancouver Grizzlies jerseys?

As per SLAM Magazine’s “75 Greatest Jerseys of All Time” list, there is one other iconic Vancouver Grizzlies design (excluding the Mike Bibby versions). The Shareef Abdur-Rahim 1996-1997 Vancouver Grizzlies away jersey placed at #68 on the list. This jersey design is identical to the 1998-1999 away design.

What happened to the Vancouver Grizzlies?

The Vancouver Grizzlies were an expansion team founded in 1995. They had a short and quite unsuccessful history in Vancouver, and eventually moved to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2001-2002 season. In the 2019-2020 season, the Grizzlies paid homage to their Vancouver history and wore jerseys identical to the 1998-1999 Vancouver Grizzlies away jersey.

While Mike Bibby was certainly a great player during his day, and had a great 1998-1999 season, his accomplishments and status don’t quite stack up to his peers who dominate SLAM Magazine’s “Greatest Jerseys of All Time” list. Furthermore, the 1998-1999 season was not a memorable one for the Vancouver Grizzlies, as they finished with the worst record in the league. However, the Mike Bibby 1998-1999 Vancouver away jersey placing so highly at #6 is a testament to the ability of a vibrant and memorable design to become iconic, as well as hip-hop’s influence on the NBA league and fandom.