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You'll recognize it by the 32-foot high crisscrossed light tubes resembling a net illuminating the corner of Fifth Avenue and 45th Street, with the black metal outline of a basketball swooshing through from the ceiling of the second floor. That's right — more than a year after its new home was announced, the NBA Store is finally open at 545 Fifth Avenue.
Well, almost — they're putting the finishing touches on it as we speak, and hope to open its doors to
people frantically buying presents shoppers as early as this weekend.
As expected, the NBA Store isn't merely a place to pick up jerseys and snapbacks. It's an experience in itself, whether you're running your hand along shelving that's coated in Spalding basketball leather, comparing player stats in one of seven different languages on giant touch screens that can then direct you to where to find that person's merchandise in the three-level store, shooting hoops in an arcade-style game on the upper level, or marveling at memorabilia autographed by legends of the game. But all that aside, it is a pretty great place to pick up jerseys and snapbacks, and other good stuff, too.
You'll find kids' and women's gear upstairs (while the women's selection is limited both in terms of team offerings and styles, the jerseys that are available are flattering to a curvier shape, and thankfully we didn't see anything pink or jewel-encrusted during our preview), the NBA Store Collection and league highlights — if Steph Curry shoots another record-breaking game, you can bet you'll see his jersey front and center the next morning — and the full run of men's merchandise downstairs in a set-up that's meant to resemble a locker room.
Downstairs is really where it's at here, because that's where you also find things like an entire wall of hats, another dedicated to shoes (above) that features where some of the league's most iconic dunks took place around the key, plus merchandise from activewear giants Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour all lumped together. There's also a jersey customization station, where you can get any player's name — or any name, like your own — and number stamped on in as little as ten minutes, when there's no line. If you don't feel like waiting, they'll mail it to you quickly.
You can see all this for yourself — if you manage to tear your eyes away from the slick high-res screens displaying live games, highlight reels, and league news, that is — when the doors open in the coming days.