“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?
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