The “ninja-style headwear” will not be allowed in the 2019/2020 NBA season. Jimmy Butler, Jrue Holiday, Montrezl Harrell, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Jarrett Allen will have to find a different piece of headgear to wear.
This news caused a lot of chatter amongst players and fans, mostly because the entire issue seems absurd. The NBA has to approve everything that happens on the court, including what players wear. Not just on the court – off the court as well.
The most notable example was David Stern implementing a dress code in 2005. He believed hip-hop culture was having a negative impact on the behavior of players. The dress code states all players must dress in business or conservative attire while arriving and departing during a scheduled game, on the bench while injured, and when conducting official NBA business (press interviews, charity events, etc.).
It’s understandable the NBA wants to control in case a certain player wants to do something inappropriate or extreme, but ninja headbands? Really? The first piece of news we got was the Nike wasn’t going to make them for NBA anymore because they think it is “unprofessional”. Rafael Nadal, a Nike athlete, has been wearing it for years.
The latest news we got was that the league notified teams in May the ninja headband will not be allowed in the upcoming season. They had issues with them right away but didn’t want to make a big deal out of it so they let it slide.
Concerns about “safety, and consistency of size, length” sounds very convincing, doesn’t it? I can understand how after the Malice in the Palace David Stern misunderstood the influence of hip-hop on player behavior. He misunderstood it, but the causality and context are clear.
Ninja headbands? That’s a tough one.