Why Did Basketball Shorts Get Longer (Original History Explained Here)


Basketball shorts used in the NBA were very short in the beginning. But why did NBA shorts become longer? NBA shorts became longer due to Michael Jordan asking his manufacturer to make his shorts longer to feel less uncomfortable on the courts. When Michael Jordan started wearing longer and bulkier shorts, most of the NBA began to wear shorter shorts and shifted towards short-short shirts. Shorts for basketball within the NBA have evolved through the decades. They have mostly followed trends, often as a result of what was trending at the time as well as the behaviour of a well-known individual. Nowadays, the majority of basketball players are wearing longer shorts. It’s not the only occasion that Michael Jordan started a trend. Michael Jordan has significantly influenced the culture of sneakers and Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan sneakers.

Why did basketball shorts get longer

The changing fashion trends caused the shift, then manufacturers developed products (with technological advances) that reflected what consumers wanted. In the past, basketball players were the only ones to wear their shorts higher than the knee. But, many basketball players began wearing their shorts lower than the knee in the 1990s and the early 2000s. This caused Nike to develop a more long version of basketball shorts. According to Nike, this new size “provides a better fit and more range of motion.”

Nike developed a variety of tests to improve the technology of basketball shorts:

  • Single-layer compression fabric, engineered mesh ventilation
  • Drawstring and waistband that is wider;
  • Longer inseam

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When did basketball shorts get longer

I was a kid in the 1990s, and when basketball caught my focus in the latter part of the 1990s, the style to emulate was to buy long, baggy, or long-sleeved shirts. I often wore shorts three times bigger than me, as I believed I was copying the NBA superstars. It was only in the 1990s when long basketball shorts were an issue. Look at the clip below for players’ perspectives of the basketball 1980s shorts. When did Basketball Shorts get Longer? There are two reasons why basketball shorts have become longer.

First, Michael Jordan wore extra big shorts to allow him to wear his UNC shorts over them. They helped him succeed. The other reason is the fantastic five players from Michigan State. You’re likely wondering how six players affect the nature of the NBA. It’s safe to say this is because NBA is a culture that is not atypical in sports. While other sports do not manage to be inclusive, the NBA isn’t and is the only one in the NBA to conform to norms. The majority of athletes prefer tight-fitting clothing to guarantee the highest performance. However, not in the NBA. This article looks at Michael Jordan, and the Fab Fiver introduced baggy shorts.

The history of basketball shorts in the NBA

Shorts for basketball have come a far way since the early 1900s. In the past, basketball players had padded pants rather than shorts!

The NBA did not start wearing shorts until the 1920s. In a strange twist, the athletes were keen to change their clothes. They believed that the additional fabric hindered the quick cuts and leaps. The “short shorts” were smaller than the ones we wear nowadays. They barely covered players’ legs and thighs. Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, and Oscar Robertson are some of the most famous icons of wearing “short shorts.”

The short style was widespread throughout the 1970s and through the 1980s, which is the time when things started to change. From 1984 on, it was clear that a brand new style was about taking the NBA to the forefront. That’s right. It’s time to talk about the debut of long shorts!

How did the first basketball shorts look

Before uniforms for basketball, before the invention of uniforms for basketball, players played in athletic clothing of any kind, from football uniforms to tracksuits. The first official uniforms introduced in 1901’s Spalding catalogue featured knee-length padded pants, knee-length pants, and shorter pants. It a quite a contrast from the more casual outfits that we wear today.

In the 1920s, longer bottoms morphed into shorts with a medium length. Many prefer the more comfortable blend of polyester and nylon instead of the heavier, traditional wool fabrics in the 1930s. Only in the 70s and 80s did we see the notoriously slim and form-fitting clothes that reflected the fashion trends of the two decades. The fashion style became the norm for the NBA before when Jordan arrived.

Why are basketball shorts so loose

Wearing loose clothes increases the players’ flexibility to move freely. Additionally, loose shorts can also aid in regulating body temperatures. In hot weather, they let more excellent airflow, which keeps players cool. Because basketball involves a lot amount of movement, players must be comfortable. Regarding mobility, it’s among the most challenging sports in the world. The players must run, jump and quickly change direction. The tightness of clothing can hinder movement and create discomfort. When athletes squat in a defensive posture, their shorts shouldn’t roll up and restrict their activities. The physical exertion places the body under lots of strain, and curtailing the clothing worn will increase the humidity and heat players are already feeling.

When did the short become official NBA attire

The transition from short and long was not easy. In 1997 the NBA established a rule that demanded uniform bottoms be at least one inch higher than the knees. The league penalized players who went lower. Luckily, the association quickly removed the rule, and basketball shorts included an 11-inch length in the inseam during the early 2000s.

Utah Jazz point guard John Stockton made the history of NBA fashion when he was the only professional player to sport a slim, short-sleeved look until his retirement in 2003. As we entered the 20th century, uniforms were becoming increasingly loose and bulky. Shorts look great when on-court; however, they’re not as practical on practicality. The added material makes them heavier and also impacts aerodynamics. However, it continued to be the most popular style in the coming years.

Why do short lengths keep changing

Practicality and contemporary fashion trends influence professional athletes’ choices to wear their shorts. But, we should also consider the impact of celebrities on fashion. NBA athletes are stars in their own right. With magazine spreads, brands, designer partnerships, and endorsement deals, famous names in the NBA are all over the place. As LeBron said, players who admire him may eventually prefer his look more “professional” look of a well-fitting, formal uniform.

The influence of hip-hop on the NBA

Hip-hop superstar Quavo declares, “The NBA is hip-hop, and hip-hop is the NBA.” The NBA is known for its strict dress code and stringent rules. Since the 1990s, we’ve seen an increase in people wearing baggy shorts. This fashion was popularized by hip-hop music. Players such as Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady started wearing this style during their games and at press conferences following games.

Others like Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James have followed suit.NBA players are among the most fashionable athletes across every professional sport. They can attribute this to their love of hip-hop culture and how it has affected the way they dress. Shorts with a baggy cut aren’t the only fashion that hip-hop influences throughout the NBA. We’ve also seen players take to wearing their jerseys untucked and loose and wearing many hip-hop-inspired accessories like chains and hats, tattoos and chains.

Do players still sport longer bottoms

In the last decade, in the late 2010s, lengths started receding again. The shorts were mid-thigh in size and had a more streamlined style, but they were quite different from past uniforms. The more streamlined fit is more comfortable and offers more movement, making it ideal for sports. It also complements the period’s urban and athletic aesthetics. Legendary basketball player LeBron James debuted even shorter shorts in 2015, which was starkly different from his fellow players who wore looser fittings. The uniforms he wears now appear to be tailored to fit.

In addition to being the perfect fit for him, James explains that he also hopes his decisions will influence the other players regarding how they appear in terms of acting and appearance, focusing on looking more professional. And Jalen Rose, one of the members of the Fab Five and ESPN’s NBA analyst, believes “the baggy shorts had its run” because “it’s been 20 years.”

Why Did the Fab Five Wear Longer Basketball Shorts?

When Jordan broke the norm and set off the trend of wearing longer shorts, many believe they were the Fab Five that cemented their usage on a global level. In 1991, The University of Michigan’s Fab Five were a team consisting of gifted freshmen: Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Juwan Howard as well as Ray Jackson. They got much media attention for their basketball success, unfiltered opinions, and controversial views on a basketball uniform.

The team wore black high-socks that were not common at the time, and they would lower their shorts to make them longer and “be like Mike.” Then their uniforms were overhauled, as the entire team demanded that their shorts be at least 2 inches wider. The popularity of the Fab Five, together with the media’s coverage, has helped to make the more sexy uniform widespread among professional athletes.

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