Bell saw the tweet and remarked that it didn’t even bear the right number.
Bell wore No. 1 in college, not No. 5 — Tyler Dorsey wore No. 5 for the Ducks the past two seasons. Bell will wear No. 2 with the Warriors. Bell did not appear angry, but instead took the opportunity to mock the mistake, tweeting, “they tried tho A for effort.”
Fanatics issued the following statement about the jersey:
“Jordan Bell was issued that No. 5 jersey before he switched to his No. 1 jersey. It was mistakenly sent to us as Game-Used instead of Game-Issued. We’ve take the product down and updated the description. We apologize for any inconvenience!”
This is not the first time an item touted as game-worn has scrutinized. Allegedly fraudulent game-used merchandise worn by New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning was a hot topic earlier this year after a protracted legal battle between the team and a sports memorabilia dealer shed light on such practices.
Post reporter Will Hobson, who investigated the case involving Manning in June, wrote that the industry involving supposedly game-worn merchandise is an “unregulated … marketplace rife with fraud.”
In the case involving Manning’s items, it’s unclear who the fraudster was. The dealer, a man named Eric Inselberg, was originally implicated, but after he produced evidence that suggested Giants equipment managers duped him, criminal prosecutors dropped fraud charges against him. Inselberg is now suing the team.
Bell’s jersey situation may not be as complicated; it’s certainly not as sophisticated considering the glaring error regarding the jersey number. It’s also unclear who might be at fault. Fanatics often acts as a conduit to connect third-party sellers to fans, although the outlet does appear to have some sort of authentication procedure of its own. Language attached to the Bell jersey now marked out-of-stock deemed the merchandise “Fanatics Authentic.”
The fine print also said the item could “be verified online using the Certificate of Authenticity’s unique alpha-numeric code.”
“This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud,” the site added.