Players mock NBA decision to ban 'ninja-style headwear'

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

The NBA has informed teams and players that the use of ‘ninja-style’ headwear and headbands will be prohibited in the upcoming season.

The headwear shot to prominence last season, after the likes of New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday and LA Clippers centre Montrezl Harrell popularised the look.

Several others, including then-Philadelphia wing Jimmy Butler, Sacramento’s DeAaron Fox and Brooklyn’s Jarrett Allen, who also wore the look frequently.

According to ESPN, the NBA cited ‘safety concerns’ as the main driver behind the decision - a line which did not go down well with NBA players.

Montrezl Harrell of the LA Clippers is one of several NBA player to popularise looser-fitting headbands last season, which the NBA has announced it has banned for the 2019-20 season. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

League spokesman Mike Bass said the headwear had not been officially approved last season, but the league had opted not to ban it mid-season so as not to ‘cause a disruption’.

“The ninja-style headwear is not part of the NBA uniform and hasn't been through the league approval process,” Bass told ESPN in a statement.

“Teams have raised concerns regarding safety and consistency of size, length and how they are tied, which requires a thorough review before consideration of any rule change.

"When some players began wearing them last season, we didn't want to cause a disruption by intervening midseason, but we notified our teams in May that they would not be part of this season's uniforms."

Players less than impressed

The reaction from NBA players was, by and large, relatively muted, but both Harrell and Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin both took to social media to mock the decions.

Harrell, who was one of the first to popularise the look, labelled the move ‘bull***t’, while Griffin was amused by the language the league had to come up with to refer to the headwear.

“I love that someone at the NBA had to type the words “ninja-style hardware” (sic) and “consistency of size and length” as their job today,” Griffin posted.