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Nets’ Basquiat-themed City Edition gear goes on sale ... with ‘Big Three’ promotion

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The Nets have confirmed the rumors: They will wear a Jean-Michel Basquiat-themed City Edition uniform this season and have begun marketing them and other gear with what maybe we should describe as a “Basquiat Big Three” campaign ... one that features Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and ... Caris LeVert.

Here’s the launch tweets, from Nets social media including a personal endorsement from KD. Durant cited Basquiat as one of his biggest inspirations outside of basketball during his Young CEO conference on October 26.

And the photo shoot.

While other teams have used the City Edition option to honor some charming aspect of their city —the Knicks is based on a subway token design— or a city nickname —The Suns chose “The Valley”, the Nets have decided to honor local artists. Last year, it was Biggie Smalls, the hip hop pioneer, this year it’s Basquiat who took street art from Brooklyn subways to Manhattan galleries. Both died young.

John Abbamondi, president of the Nets and parent company BSE Global, said of the Basquiat-inspired jerseys: “Basquiat embodies much of what Brooklyn represents, and his creative spirit and passionate voice can still be felt throughout the borough. Today, more than ever, Basquiat matters.”

Basquiat, of Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage, was born in Brooklyn in 1960. Like fellow New Yorker Keith Haring, he began as a graffiti artist in the 1970’s. By the 1980’s, his work was more widely recognized. Now, his art is among the most sought-after in the world. At a Sotheby’s auction in May 2017, “Untitled,” a 1982 painting by Basquiat depicting a black skull with red and yellow rivulets, sold for $110.5 million, becoming one of the most expensive paintings ever purchased. It also set a new record high for an American artist at auction.

The Basquiat gear was designed by Nike based on a Nets theme. It even includes a Tissot timepiece.

The gear, which includes a full range of sportswear, are on sale online and at retail outlets in the city.