The NBA and its associated retail partners sell a lot of merchandise, from the most coveted retro jerseys to those toasters that burn team logos into bread. While many of these items are sold at considerable markup, they rarely reach prices so high as to seem absurd. Plus, when players change teams, the team-specific apparel bearing their names is always put on sale.
It was a little bizarre, then, to discover that one store at Los Angeles International Airport is still selling Dwight Howard jerseys from his sole season with the Los Angeles Lakers at a premium price. According to sportswriter Jeff Pearlman, who wrote a book on the franchise's Showtime era published earlier this year, the jerseys are going for close to $100. Here's his tweet:
Trusted source Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk has said that no one in L.A. walks around in a Dwight Howard Lakers jersey these days, and that makes sense given that Howard was a disappointment with the team and opted to bolt for the Houston Rockets as a free agent last summer.
But I think he's ignoring some potential customers for this item. As all Americans know, the free market is a frictionless wonder with absolutely no inefficiencies whatsoever. If someone is selling an outdated Dwight Howard jersey for $100, then surely someone must be willing to pay for it.
Who would do such a thing? Here are some suggestions:
1. Tom Hanks in "Cast Away" if he couldn't get through airport customs like Tom Hanks in "The Terminal."
2. A traveler who had all his shirts confiscated by TSA agents.
3. Someone who spent way too much time at the Chili's Too bar during a five-hour layover.
4. A delayed passenger who forgot to use a $100 voucher until right before boarding.
5. An anthropomorphic Skittle.
The system works!
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- Los Angeles Lakers