On Wednesday, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency addressed a counterfeit shipment they seized with a press release. The federal agency reported that 28 NBA championship rings were found violating protected trademarks and designs for 11 of the 30 NBA teams. During the statement, they also noted that the total price of these rings (had they been legitimate) would be approximately. $560,000 USD.
The shipment was seized at Los Angeles International Airport by U.S. CBP officers working in the cargo operations department. During further examination, they found that the shipment was made from China, and was en route to Arizona. They also assumed that the intent for these items was to be sold in a collection.
According to a report made by the CBP, a legitimate NBA championship ring can have a selling price of anywhere between $10,000 and $40,000 USD. In certain cases, rings have been known to sell at over $200,000 USD.
Import specialists confirmed that the rings had infringed on the following teams trademarks; Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets. What seems funny about this is that the Denver Nuggets are the only team in that list to have not actually won an NBA championship – meaning that a Nuggets ring would be easily deemed as fake to even the casual NBA fan.
According to other sources, the Air Jordan logo and the NBA Trophy Design found on the seized rings were found to violate their respective trademarks.
Carlos C Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in LA stated “Scammers take advantage of collectors and pro-basketball fans desiring to obtain a piece of sports history. This seizure illustrates how CBP officers and import specialists protect not only trademarks, but most importantly, the American consumer.”
This crackdown in illegal counterfeit goods comes before the NBA’s preseason start this upcoming September 30.