Style - Kicks and Gear / Sep 21, 2009 / 1:00 pm

The Best Basketball Shorts Of All Time

AND 1 Shorts

“It’s a recession, homey,” said my 61-year-old father. “Need some cash? Sell some clothes.” Easier floated than fulfilled, because what pops doesn’t understand is that any hoops-head worth his hardwood crafts his closet like a monk rakes a Zen garden; we catalogue and protect our collections like a posse of vigilante librarians who employ a hyperized Dewey Decimal system that exists only in our heads but is tacitly understood. And putting it all together on the daily is a truly holistic endeavor. Ask KG.

A hoops-head does not own his closet, but rather, he is owned by his closet, and opening that sucker with intent to eliminate is more than a quick triage at Mass General, it’s a triple-overtime saga at the Garden.

With that said, one must respect the father-homey relationship, so last weekend I decided to take the old man’s advice and hit the recesses of my closet, not to mention the gigantic under-the-bed Tupperware stash, and make some grown-ass-man maneuvers.

After a few hours of careful unfolding, refolding, considering, and piling, I had a stack ready for the discerning eyes of the local thrift-shop buyer. The stack included:

– A throwback Ben Wallace, Pistons jersey
– A Maryland Terrapins shooting shirt (I had a thing for Juan Dixon)
– Assorted civilian gear (I’ll be Dime sensitive and spare you the details)

But in this process, I did, as we often do, salvage a piece of clothing worth rocking and arguing about: AND 1 shorts, circa 1998, royal blue legs with yellow side panels, thick jersey fabric with a wide waistband, otherwise known as the best basketball shorts of all time.

After sliding the shorts on, I rang my consigliere, aka Frozen Chozen, informed him of my discovery, and let flow my argument that AND 1 is the most slept-on basketball-shorts-maker in the developed world. “Oh most definitely,” Frozen said. “They stay looking fly and are so comfortable that I can serve fools in ‘em from sun up to good night.”

So how come my newest pair of AND 1 shorts is a decade old? According to AND 1 Executive Director Rob Purvy, the brand eroded to just a television show after reaching its peak in the late-’90s. Under new ownership since 2005, the company is mining its classic history, and could be on the verge of resurrection.

For those of you salivating for some gear, you’re in luck, because come November, AND 1 will bring back one of its most popular shoes, the Tai Chi, at stores across the country. Shorts and shirts (they are in conversation to bring back the trash-talking tees) are around the corner, possibly by the holidays or spring 2010.

Who do you think makes the best basketball shorts in the land?

Follow Solomon on Twitter at @sollylieb.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.

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  • http://www.nbadraftdaycountdown.com Aaron

    I did a LOL to this article because I rock these shorts still. I didn’t realize how old they are till now though. haha! I have a pair in red and blue and they are still super comfortable to this day.

  • marcus the great

    man you aint NEVER lied about how hard it is to give away some old gear you dont even rock anymore. i bit the bullet hard and gave away some stuff to my lil brother, but it was hard as sh*t!! some Girbaud and Enyce shirts, some Mecca jeans (throwback!). right before he left i thought about taking it all back lol, but since the oversized thug style is kinda wack now i let him slide

  • marcus the great

    but i would have to argue that Jordan Brand from about 2002-2006 has the best basketball shorts though, i got about 3 pair of just black, and assortments of the other colors. you win cuz you have a picture of yours though Solomon!

  • go2kai

    Those Michigan or UNC shorts

  • Stephon


    I got the same design, but it’s navy blue/ baby blue linings and white base. Reversable ones too.

    It goes perfect to my baby blue Tai Chi’s and after schooling some fools, off court the shorts will complement my “Post Game to Chillin'” by And1 as well …. damm that’s such a long time ago … but respect to DIME for bringing back gd streetball memories…

  • this is lame

    nike.jsut do it

  • UpNorth

    I love the AND1 shorts, still have a few pairs myself… but I think “the Best Basketball Shorts of All Time” title needs to go to the ORIGINAL JORDAN BRAND CAT SCRATCH shorts.

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine

    My first pair of AND 1 shorts were some blue/black G-Town ones I got back during the Iverson era with the Hoyas. I still rock those to this day!


  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @AP — Too bad I’m stealing those from you soon as I get the chance. (Is it OK to wear another guy’s shorts if you wash them several times first?)

  • sh!tfaced

    wash them several times in hot water. that’s what i do. lol

  • siree

    jordan makes the flyest and most comfortable ball shorts but i do love and1

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla

    The And 1 shorts were always lame and not for REAL ball players. Shorts that hang down to your lower calf are not basketball shorts, they are capris and you look extra “sensitive” wearing that shit.

    Now the And 1 trash talking Tees and the Tai Chi are infamous. I even had a couple hoodies to match my shoes and sweats.

    The shorts though…can’t fuck with them. Makes a 6’4 guy look like he’s 5’8 and wearing his big brothers clothes.

  • aquahmonk

    good stuff. I still sport my all red And 1 shorts. but if that’s a picture of you and your shorts, those are damn way too short my man. past the knees! pass the knees!

  • foolio_iglesias

    Adidas,fool.They came out with the Climalite and Climacool basketball gear ,way before moisture wicking fabrics got all trendy n shit.I had some of Kobe’s and T Mac’s signature shorts,and the quality was apparent from day 1.Memo to some of ya’ll,shorts with hip pockets ain’t real ball shorts……the other day I seen some kids playing at my gym in big ole sloppy shorts,and some still had them sagged to the point draws were visible,like,wa-oowww,really kid?That supposed to help your game or something?Nasty…..

  • .

    solomon- you white, but your dad calls you “homey”?

  • jay

    Had a pair but can’t even wear em out the house anymore……………

  • shake&bake

    The ones Jordan has been coming out with lately are the best I’ve owned. Mt runner-up is the 1994 University of Kentucky shorts with the zig-zag pattern.

  • Zers

    jordan 1982 retro carolina shorts white w/ wide waitst… legit

  • ghbizzle

    I wish a muffukka WOULD sit it my AND 1 shorts

  • http://www.niketalk.yuku.com/forums/8 NTstateOFmind

    @ .says

    so what if he does?

  • Amar

    i still have mine, still wear em too, and are like the day i bought them

  • Nitetrain

    Those are some lame shorts, son

  • haslem

    how are and-1 shorts slept on? everyone knows they are the best I remember back in 2000 EVERYONE wore and-1 stuff (the shoes not as good) people used to wear them even off the court

  • j yosef

    im in a jerusalem mall 2 weeks ago and saw a whole rack of and1 shorts… made me think of the good old days.

  • jzsmoove

    Basketball shorts, And 1. Urban, Jordan Brand. Lounging, Lululemon.

  • The REAL Tyrone

    This cat’s ol man be callin him homeY? That shit got me cradcking up ya’ll – ain’t no doubt that then whiteass cats be representin that they be frm the hood when they ain’t be rockin that shiat.

    True thugs NEVER lie.
    The Real Tyrone

  • doc

    Everybody in my hood had a pair of them And 1’s.

  • doc

    You need to throw them things away though because they on the small side these days.

  • HeadkickerB

    AND 1 shorts get my vote. I had some of there kicks but none I would rank any of them among my favorites. I still rock some of the shorts. My favorite shirt was the one that said “Franchise” on the back.

  • http://dime fan

    Best Basketball shorts: Olaf’s(Uptown) from Above the Rim. You had to be nice to wear a pair. Used to be Rucker Park offical digs. Those were crazy. To me best short of all time.

  • srb

    my favorites are the Old Navy brand. best shorts with pockets I’ve ever worn.

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine

    @Austin Burton

    100% legit. I have a pair of ABCD camp shorts that I traded my buddy for at camp who got them from his roommate at prep school. Whomever’s shorts they were was definitely a PF but I still rock ‘em!


  • Drink the Haterade

    And 1 shorts for sure and the trash talkin tees, were nice.

    As far as the baggy shorts go, my players wear like two pairs of shorts so that one of em can sag, makes no sense, just stupidity.

  • weng santos

    Still have the same shorts in red and white.

  • JOB33

    Man I miss And 1 clothing. I had so many of those shirts where they’d break down Hot Sauce schooling someone frame for frame. The shorts had to comfortable, cuz the shoes sucked! We had a deal with Adidas at my school, but I always bought And 1. I eventually had to switch back to the team shoe. Those And 1’s tore up my feet.

  • dat dood

    jordan = rolls royce of hoop shorts.

  • dat dood

    and to the guy who said old navy…

    let’s get serious out here.

  • Trouble Man

    Michigan Fab 5 Shorts (Gold or Navy) were ill w/ the black socks & black air maxes

  • Mr. 101

    AND1 is popular as hell over in Taiwan, they still got and 1 stores and shit there. The store keepers told me that in secret, ecko, Supra, and AND 1 are all under one big umbrella company (probably ecko) but they try hard to maintain seperate public iamge so each brand can develop a following. Real talk though, in Taiwan And 1 gear competes with Nike and adidas shit in the streets.

  • http://www.lifeofagiant.com Big Aaron

    AND1 is still kinda popular over here in the UK. The shoes are a little played out because they’re available for like £15-£20 in the discount sports stores, but the tees and shorts etc are all slept on by all but the old-school who respect the brand and what it represents.

  • Joe

    If you’re looking for a new pair of AND 1 shorts, go to KOHL’S. They have a decent selection including the old school side panel design. They’re always on sale too. Over the summer I bought a few pairs and I rock them every day.

  • NC

    Adidas all the way.

  • len-e

    good points but and1 fell off big time around probably 2003 – shortly after introducing the new logo.

    most comfortable shorts nowadays come from k1x, no doubt.

  • Daniel D

    I love those I still have my old pair even though I am a lot bigger now and can’t fit them I have been waiting for the day to come where I can cop those I will be getting every color out there when they come out :)

  • mellmeister

    and1 still rocks the best basketball shorts…

  • http://sevendeu2u.wordpress.com/ Seven Duece

    co-sign #7 UPNORTH – My favorites are the Jordan Cat Scratch that first hit the scene at Cincinnati with the Bearcats. I have 4 pairs of those still. But a pair of And1’s I always wanted were the ones that had a camouflage green and black pattern. Saw them advertised in an issue of Slam like 8 or 9 years ago, always wanted those bad boys. The new plaid K1X’s are nice, but are going for 50 bones – damn that.

  • K.I.R

    Definately the Olafs- thats where it kinda started on a street fashion/Ballin tip (for me anyway- maybe it was a NY thing)

  • http://www.utjazzblog.com Utah Jazz Blog

    How can an article about the best basketball shorts of all time not be about John Stockton? :)

    I’ve never really had a favorite pair of basketball shorts or held much brand loyalty in that regard.

  • http://www.kentuckysportsradio.com flipisatrip

    i have 2 pair of and1 shorts, from about 15 years ago, that i still rock on the court

  • ROB

    Best B-Ball shorts has to be Olaf’s. I remember taking the train from Brooklyn as a kid to buy these shorts in uptown Harlem. It was a little shop with all kinds of colors. You didn’t have to be nice to rock a pair, but you looked nice! It really must have been a N.Y. thing!