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NBA warns Spurs fans of counterfeit merchandise

Roadside vendor says she sells cheaper alternative, not counterfeit

There is no doubt the gift shops at the AT&T Center were full Thursday night for Game 1 of the Finals, but the NBA wants fans to be aware of counterfeit merchandise.
There is no doubt the gift shops at the AT&T Center were full Thursday night for Game 1 of the Finals, but the NBA wants fans to be aware of counterfeit merchandise.

Following Thursday night's Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, the official NBA store at the AT&T Center was packed -- but it's not the only place fans are going to buy their Spurs gear.

NBA intellectual property attorney Anil George said consumers should be wary of goods sold by pop-up tent vendors.

"Be aware. Look at the difference in terms of quality. Look at the neck label, hat label, holographic hang tag, stickers," said George.

Bottom line, he said, is to go to a reputable merchant.

According to George, consumers may pay a little more for the real thing, but for good reason.

"You come to the team store, you're going to get a very high-quality T-shirt or cap. You're going to have a return policy. It's a store that pays taxes," George said.

One roadside vendor said the shirts she sells are not counterfeit. She does not claim to sell NBA merchandise, rather a less expensive alternative.

"It's an alternative from the authentic. (A) lot of time those are $30 and above. These shirts are $10, $12, $15," she said.

For a lot of fans, however, the bottom line is money.

"It runs a lot higher. Most people don't want to spend that kind of money when they got to spend it for four or five people," said one fan.

"They're expensive. So if you can have one, why not? You're just helping out and you're supporting the team," said another Spurs fan.

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