Nike Basketball’s reign in performance basketball clothing hit full stride in 1987 with a low-cut, fitted cotton short worn mainly for indoor hoops.
Shorts boomed in the early 1990s as the outdoor basketball craze was at an all-time high and went international, from Venice Beach, Calif., and Rucker Park, N.Y., to Barcelona and Beijing.
The 1990s growth in the basketball apparel business included shorts, mesh jerseys, sleeveless T-shirts and loose tube socks. The trend of hooking up a head-to-toe look by tying tops and bottoms to sneakers migrated from the metro blacktop courts to Madison Avenue in 1992 when Hollywood proclaimed 'White Men Can’t Jump.'
Shorts were vital to the signature looks of characters Billy Hoyle and Sidney Deane as Hoyle went long and loose while Deane went short and tight.
A Modern Look
2008 ushered in a new era in performance shorts as the USA men’s and women’s basketball teams debuted state-of-the-art shorts for the Beijing games. The advanced materials, evolved ventilation and fabrication made an impact. The shorts were significantly lighter than previous versions and more breathable and comfortable. This was the starting point for re-imagined, high-performing basketball apparel.
The modern look debuted on the world’s best basketball athletes five years ago and the Nike Basketball Elite Short silhouette has catapulted globally. Now the most advanced version arrives in the form of the 2013 Nike Elite Stripe short.
Benefits include Dri-FIT knit fabric for staying dry and comfortable, a gripper elastic waistband for secure fit and laser-cut perforations on the side panels for ventilation. The stripe on the side panel draws inspiration from the Nike Elite Socks.
Style preferences come and go, but Nike Basketball’s commitment to create the most technically advanced shorts remains constant. While top athletes have embraced the look and feel of the Nike Elite Short on the court, it's breathable, cooling fabrication translates to off-court appeal for the summer months ahead.
"Inside Access" is a series providing an inside look at Nike Basketball through the lens of events, innovation and athletes. Look for new features the first and third Tuesdays of each month throughout the basketball season.
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