With college basketball’s March Madness starting today it is only right to dive into the new/old style that is taking over the game. Short shorts are becoming far more popular in college basketball again.
Over the last few decades we have seen a few major swings in short length on the basketball court. Of course the game started with players wearing near boxer length shorts, as displayed above by WVUs own Jerry West.
But short length began to drop further down the leg very rapidly. Some accredit the very beginning of this trend to the great Michael Jordan and the young, Fab Five Michigan basketball team. There are a few different stories as to how Michael originally started the trend. One story is that Michael had a habit of grabbing at his shorts when he was playing defense or when he was bent over from exhaustion… because of this habit Michael went to Champion (they made the shorts) and asked that they drop the seam down lower so he could easily grab the bottom of his shorts.
Another rumor is that Michael wanted to wear his UNC shorts under his Chicago Bulls shorts. The problem was that the shorts were too short. What did he do? You guessed it… asked for bigger ones. Put simply, Michael Jordan did it first and everyone wanted to be like Mike and wear baggy shorts.
This trend of baggy shorts is still the norm in the NBA, although the overall style length has shorted since the Iverson days and “The Dress Code” of 2005. Still today, if you watch any NBA game, on any night, most all of the shorts are roughly at the knee, give or take an inch up or down.
This is not the case in college basketball. Players such as Zion Williamson and Jordan Poole are starting to push back. Zion is undoubtable going to be the number pickI the draft this year and Poole a great career ahead of him as well. With social media trends catching fire so rapidly, I would bet that the short shorts are going to make a huge comeback in the NBA very soon.