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Los Lakers, Los Spurs and other Noche Latina jerseys

Ball Don't Lie

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No, your eyes do not deceive you, charro ...

Kicking off the The Association's third annual Noche Latina event — a program that recognizes the NBA's fans and players from across Latin America and U.S. Hispanic communities — "Los Kobe" and his Lakers wore celebratory jerseys in their front-running 99-89 win over the Grizzlies on Tuesday.

Note: DJ Mbenga also rocked a floating wide-brimmed hat. Very spiffy.

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Announced back in February, Noche Latina frenzy is set to take place in eight of the top 10 American Hispanic markets this season (up from four in 2007-08): Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas, Chicago, Houston and New York.

While "Los" uniforms are all the rage, Noche Latina NBA teams will also host in-arena themed activities ranging from Latin music to performances and giveaways to I'm not even going to go there ...

But here's a fun twist: Rather than translating the team names literally ("Los Sols," "Los Espuelas," what have you), market research has apparently concluded that Spanish-speakers in the U.S. refer to them a little differently. The Miami Heat, for example, is called "El Heat"; the San Antonio Spurs are "Los Spurs." I'll have to take their word for it.

Anyway, if you like what you see, Latin nights jerseys, t-shirts, and headwear (excluding Mbenga's awesome floating wide-brimmed hat, sorry) are available at the

Here's a quick look at the other Latina-flavored threads:

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