Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley won’t have to stop wearing his headband after all following a new decree from Coach Quin Snyder.
As ever, while the NBA elects to juke, the Utah Jazz are jivin’ in Salt Lake City.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that ninja-style headbands will officially be on the Association’s no-no list for next season — and maybe forever — after several players sported the look in 2018-19.
Multiple players of note had picked up on the style, with Jimmy Butler, De’Aaron Fox and Jrue Holiday headlining. Meanwhile, the only Jazzman to wear any kind of headband last season was Joe Ingles, and that was for medical reasons.
But as the league is restricting its own in-game dress code, Jazz players are seeing their own ability to accessorize on the hardwood expand like never before. Forget the ninja twist, Jazz players haven’t even been able to wear standard athletic headbands, but all of that is about to change.
Per Jazz coach Quin Snyder (via the Deseret News’ Eric Woodyard) Jazzmen will be allowed to rock headbands during games for the first time since this guy (me) has been alive.
Newsflash: I’m not a young man.
Dating back to Frank Layden’s days at the helm, uniformity has been gospel in Jazzland. Headbands weren’t allowed, jerseys were to be tucked and any deviation was unacceptable. Those policies remained intact and were more publicized during the Jerry Sloan era and have essentially continued on for decades.
Until now, that is.
With the acquisition of noted headband-wearer Mike Conley this summer, the Jazz were seemingly at a crossroads. However, Snyder seems content to finally ease back on the great headband prohibition and pave the way for Conley to do what he does best, i.e. ball out in a headband.
Said Snyder —
“Mike’s and our team’s focus are on being unselfish and playing defense that will be the case whether he or any of our players wear headbands or any of our five different uniforms or whether Donovan wears tights,” he continued. “That’s what’s important to us.”
In other words, they’ve got bigger fish to fry.
While Layden, Sloan (heck, even Tyrone Corbin) had their reasons for making those unwritten rules about standardized gameday attire and accessories, and I respect the ideaology behind them, this is a new day.
If Conley, who is one of the NBA’s ultimate good guys, wears a headband, but continues to play at an elite level, what does it hurt?
The answer is nothing, and Snyder deserves props for realizing as much and making a move that could improve his players’ comfort levels during games.