“Make my shorts longer”: When Michael Jordan asked NBA uniform manufacturer Champion to increase the length of his shorts and ended up starting a new fashion trend in the NBA

Joe Viju
|Published 30/10/2021

NBA icon Michael Jordan asked the manufacturer of NBA uniforms to make shorts longer so he could hold on to them when he was out of breath

Michael Jordan was absolutely phenomenal during his time in the NBA, establishing himself as arguably the greatest player of all time. MJ was a generational player and retired with the NBA’s highest-scoring average of 30.1ppg and 6 championships to his name.

The 14x NBA All-Star was a huge influence on the court. Every kid on the streets of America who held a basketball wanted to be the next ‘Mike”. However, MJ’s greatest influence was so much more than what he did on the court.

Michael Jordan was a pioneer for the NBA in so many ways. Many of the things he does, whether on or off the field, have become the norm in the league today. One of those things was fashion. Perhaps Jordan’s biggest influence can be felt with his shoes.

Apart, from shoes, he also played a huge role in the NBA bringing shorts into the league, and it was for a very particular reason. It turns out, the 5x MVP wanted to hold onto something while competing and catching his breath.

According to Jordan, the tight shorts that were used didn’t allow the athletes to grip it while they try to catch their breath. As a result, the 14x All-Star player approached Champion- the manufacturer of NBA uniforms and asked them to longer shorts. The loose shorts that Jordan wears allow the players to hold on to their shorts and catch their breath during dead balls.

Whatever the reason, Champion obliged and released longer shorts and they remain a basketball staple to this day.

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How was Michael Jordan a trendsetter in the NBA?

It has been around 20 years since Michael Jordan called it quits from the NBA. However, his influence still remains to this day. Perhaps, his biggest influence was his shoes. He inked a deal with Nike way back in 1984, and the rest is history.

Apart from the shoes, MJ is the reason for various trends that still exist to this day. Jordan is responsible for the popularized shaved head look, gold chains, and the wearing of long and baggy shorts and suits.

If you want to see how far Jordan’s influence extends in the NBA today, use Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell as an example. Mitchell, played baseball and basketball growing up and wanted to be like MJ. As a result, Donovan Mitchell wore Jordan’s second number 45 shirt to honour MJ’s other career. In addition, all the players that rock Jordan apparel today is evidence enough.

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Even two decades after his retirement, Jordan continues to be one of the most influential athletes in the world. For some reason, the 58-year-old retired basketball player is still seen as the epitome of charisma.





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