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."