History on the Hardwood

Before we start dissecting the comparison of the NBA and college ball, we need to see how far the uniforms have come.

Since the era of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, the uniforms looked and fit differently than they do now. The short shorts and sleeveless shirts were a staple trend in the 80’s. Although the hems may have grown, the colors and creativity has faded.


For example, the old-school Denver Nuggets jersey  is filled with up to five colors and shapes to draw the eye to the uniform.

nuggets new

In comparison to the 21st century Denver Nuggets jersey, that has two colors and a simple franchise name.

Basketball fan, Chelsea Holt said, “In the 80’s the logos and color schemes told a story and created a picture for each team.” That is not the case today, when you turn on the TV, it is difficult to tell which teams are playing due to the limited colors and simplistic design. The teams and uniforms have begun to blend together.

Although the colors are something that people may miss, there is one thing that the players are glad that are gone.


“No more short shorts,” said Hawkeye Aaron White.

Longer shorts became a major trend in the early 90’s, when the Fab Five popularized the idea.  The Fab Five were a group of five players at the University of Iowa in the early 90’s. They trended the idea of baggy shorts and black socks, and from that point on the hem lengths have stayed around the knee.

This change was also relevant in the women’s side.

womens bball

This is a view of a women’s typical uniform in the early era. As you can see the hemlines are short and there is a lot of skin shown.


Here is a picture of the Iowa women’s basketball team, where the hemlines have lengthened and the amount of skin showing is limited.

Even though the uniforms have changed, each person wears them in their own way. “Some wear them baggier and some wear them more fit, which I don’t think was the case in the 80’s,” said avid fan, Mitch Plimmer.

The unique style that the 21st century players abide to, brings character to their simplistic uniforms. With the desire for connection with these high society athletes, it is an interesting way to see a player’s personality in the way that they are “balled up”. With the history out of the way, we will start to cover the trends that make each athlete their own.


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