Basketball might never return to its short-shorts era, but clearly there is a trend afoot toward shorter, slimmer shorts than those that have dominated for most of the past two decades.
What does ESPN analyst Jalen Rose — one of the pioneers of the baggy shorts era as a member of Michigan’s Fab Five in the early 1990s — think about all that?
“That’s funny,” he said with a laugh when someone asked him about it on a conference call Tuesday to promote the new slate of prime-time games on ABC that premieres Saturday night.
“I mean, the baggy shorts had its run. It’s been 20 years. I think that it’s more about compression now . . . Now everything is about, instead of being baggy, it’s compression. You’re paying more attention to the dynamics of how everything is.
“I see LeBron shorten his apparel and his shorts, but he’s not going back to Isiah Thomas or John Stockton.”
Rose called the slimmer look “a fashion statement” of the sort NBA players have made into a specialty of the league.
“Football is more popular, but if you look at like the commercials and the Forbes list and things of that nature, basketball players find ways to distinguish themselves, and so fashion has become a big part of that,” he said.
“Russell Westbrook has parlayed what he wears to the game into a business, and so I appreciate the fashion-forward thinking of a lot of the players.”