If you hate the N.B.A.’s dress code on shorts, at least consider that you didn’t have to wear these.

Early basketball shorts

Early basketball shorts were actually padded pants.

How they looked in real life, as modeled by Howard University’s first varsity basketball team in 1911.

Howard University Varsity Basketball Team, 1910

Howard University’s varsity basketball team wore this style of pant in 1910; it was standard gear at the time.

Note that the extra padding was necessary because at one point basketball was considered so rough that some colleges banned the sport for safety reasons.

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