Ever since he was little, LeBron James has always counted Julius Erving as one of his biggest idols. Even though James was only two years old when Dr. J retired, he was always inspired by the influence Erving had on the league as a whole and especially his impact on James's other favorite player, Michael Jordan.
James has modeled his game after Dr. J from a young age, and in this upcoming season, James said he plans on modeling his look after the icon as well.
Yes, we are entering NBA taboo: James said he wants to revert back to wearing short shorts.
During Erving and MJ’s primes, short shorts were a staple of the league. Stars from Larry Bird to Magic Johnson to John Stockton rocked these bad boys for added mobility and, let's be honest, extra style points.
And all was well in the NBA. That is, at least until 1992, when the Michigan Wolverines “Fab Five” composed of a completely freshman starting lineup, including Chris Webber and Jalen Rose, took the basketball world by storm with a new variety or “shorts” falling all the way below their knees. The youthful rebellion of these childish athletes completely changed the course of basketball history for the worse.
Finally, more than 20 years later, it looks like James is ready to bring the league all the way back to its beautiful, thigh-filled roots.
Well, maybe not all the way back.
In a recent interview with ESPN’s Chris Broussard, James longed for the elder days of the NBA, if only for a night.
“I might bring it back, though. I might play in some small shorts this year. Pay my homage to the ’80s, to Dr. J and John Stockton,” James said. “I don’t think it’s going to catch on, but I’m going to do it one game, maybe opening night. I can’t go all the way up [the legs], though. Athletes today are built a little differently in the legs.”
Maybe the world is not yet ready for an entire league of hulking athletic specimen in shorts above mid-thigh, but at least James is pushing in the right direction. And based on this Instagram video, it looks like the league’s short shorts revolution is in great hands.