My grandmother wore a girdle. She did so to keep her waist and belly looking svelte. NBA players wear girdles too, though I think they're significantly less concerned about the aesthetics of their waist in their uniform than they are about their health.
If you haven't noticed, and, my god, if you haven't noticed you really haven't watched basketball in awhile, players are wearing "girdles" or compression shorts and other assorted padding to minimize the damage caused by stray elbows and the pounding taken under the basket.
The funny thing is that it's quite obvious that most players wear them. Take a look at Mo's picture for instance. His compression shorts are literally hanging out.
And yet, there's a certain degree of sissyness attached to it, or at least it's the kind of information you'd want to keep secret in fear of an opponent taking advantage one way or the other. Yes, it makes perfect sense to defend yourself, and at least the compression shorts aren't as atrocious looking as the battlegear that baseball players strap on their elbows and feet.
Mo obviously dons them, but in this recent piece on the phenomenon, Cavs trainer Max Benton wouldn't name names of other padded players.
In some ways, the layered look has become the NBA's hush-hush hidden secret. Some players don't want others to know they are protecting themselves with pads because it might project a "soft" image. When asked recently if Cleveland Cavaliers players wore padded girdles for protection, Cavs athletic trainer Max Benton said yes. But when asked to name those players, Benton shook his head as if he was protecting a White House secret.
Um. A little note to Benton: Mo's kind of killing that "secret."
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.