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.
Rumors that the NBA would be prohibiting players from wearing these headwraps started to surface last week. But on Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski's latest bomb confirmed that the NBA has officially banded the accessory. According to Woj, the NBA is concerned about potential safety issues that the headbands' ties could create.
"The NBA notified teams that it won't allow players to wear 'ninja-style headwear' this season," Woj tweeted. "NBA spokesman Mike Bass tells ESPN. The headwear '...hasn't been through the league approval process. Teams have raised concerns regarding safety and consistency of size, length ...'"
This is a different explanation than players claimed they received when the ban was still being proposed. Per Sixers' Mike Scott—who along with then-teammate Jimmy Butler helped popularize the headwear—, the NBA told the players that The Ninja was unprofessional. Scott suggested this was coded language.
"Said it was too unprofessional. Translation," Scott said to a follower before urging fans to petition Nike and the league to change the rule. Following Scott's tweets, the league's biggest star, LeBron James, posted a video of him practicing in the ninja headband.
Pistons star, Blake Griffin, also used his twitter to point out the pettiness of the rule.
"[I] love that someone at the [NBA] had to type the words 'ninja-style hardware' and 'consistency of size and length' as their job today," Griffin wrote.