The off-court and on-court style in the NBA has taken on a life of its own. The latest addition to this subculture was the introduction of a style of headbands called "The Ninja" last season. Yet despite the headwrap quickly becoming a cultural phenomenon, the NBA has decided to no longer allow players to wear the ninja-style headbands.
What’s happening to the traditional terry towelling headbands? The next innovation in sweatband technology is here. It’s like a regular headband, but, it’s a lot bigger. It’s technically a hachimaki, but people are calling it the “Ninja headband.”
New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday was among the first players to wear it, along with Montrezl Harrell of the LA Clippers and De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings, They were soon followed by other popular names like former Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler (and Ben Simmons), Brooklyn Nets center and Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee, among others.
While the idea likely crossed over from tennis, it’s unclear who exactly to credit for the look in basketball. A form of it does date back to at least 2013, when Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins rocked an oversized sweatband during her team’s Final Four run.
But Ninja headbands are suddenly becoming more and more widespread and it’s not hard to see why. These headbands are like built-in comic-book motion lines for some of the best athletes in the world.
Also noteworthy about these headbands is that they are refreshingly free from brand logos, which won’t last long but can be enjoyed for the time being.
I am sure the Ninja headbands are equally sweaty after games as their traditional counterparts, but it doesn’t matter. Give everyone in the league a gigantic piece of fabric and don’t let them step on a court until they tie it around their foreheads !!