The NBA's Game Changer
Rookie of the Year; 5-time NBA MVP; 6-time NBA champion; 6-time NBA Finals MVP; 10-time All-NBA First Team; 9-time NBA All-Defensive First Team; Defensive Player of the Year; 14-time NBA All-Star; 3-time NBA All-Star MVP; 10 scoring titles; retired with the NBA's highest scoring average of 30.1 ppg; and finally, the original #23.
Jordan is justifiably one of the best basketball players in history, not to mention one of the most decorated. However, he deserves credit for more than points and championships. How about some love for his shorts?
Before 1988, short shorts were the hem of choice in the NBA and they weren't going anywhere. Men of staggering height and talent battled down the court all season long wearing fitted shorts that some women would feel uncomfortable in. Then a young phenom named Michael Jordan came along, who would prove to be a force to be reckoned with in more ways than one.
With UNC Tar Heel Blue blood pumping through his veins, Jordan wanted to keep his alma mater close - maybe a little too close. As the legend goes, he attempted to wear his UNC shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls shorts. This left little room to spare, so as any rising hoops star would do, he pulled a game changer. Jordan approached Champion, the NBA's official apparel outfitter at the time, to request a wider, longer cut for his shorts. He also had a habit of tugging at his shorts when he got tired during games, which could cause an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction if he accidentally pulled them down too far.
Needless to say, Jordan got his shorts the way he wanted them and launched a new trend that made its way into national Nike commercials, captivating kids from the inner city to the affluent suburbs. Eventually, the NBA jumped on the bandwagon. For the 1989 season, Jordan donned his wider, longer shorts and was the only player to stray from the standard style. His teammate, Scottie Pippen, asked for his own pair and that off-season, Jordan's shorts finally caught on. Players requested the new, improved style and the NBA took their cue, instituting a league-wide change to the traditional uniform.
Along with his impressive athletic resume, Jordan helped shape the iconic look of basketball players for generations to come. Shorts may not seem that important in the grand scheme of things, but it's hard to imagine how different our perception of the game might be if they hadn't changed. Luckily, someone very special made sure we don't have to.
What do you think of the NBA's short shorts compared to Jordan's wider, longer style? Which would you sport if you were a b-baller?
The Style Ref
Hi, I'm Kathy Dorf aka The Style Ref, the style expert for female sports fans. Thanks for visiting! My passion for fashion and sports inspired me to create this website. I love to help women dress to impress when representing their favorite team because great style is always in season! Learn more about me.
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