Swag was born two decades ago on the hips of the Michigan Wolverines’ Fab Five.
It’s hard to imagine that something as simple as altered clothing, or in this case longer and baggier shorts, could fashion a lasting culture for the NBA.
But the game changed when the nation’s premier high school talents joined together in 1991 to set a trend that would carry into the NBA and transform the league as it stands today.
It was more than just amplified shorts and black socks; the “best recruiting class ever” trotted out five freshmen, all with unfiltered attitudes to match the distinct look.
The core that would play three seasons together consisted of Detroit stars Chris Webber and Jalen Rose, Chicago’s Juwan Howard and Texas talents Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. Of the five, Jackson was the only player who was not honored as an All-American and never played in the NBA.
The Fab Five never won an NCAA championship, which was fine, because it was bigger than the box score anyway; the Fab Five was outfitting the image of today’s NBA stars.
The team’s trademark baggy shorts served as an emblem that stood for more than just fashion. The Fab Five, also in black socks, created a game powered by the players, a new tradition of doing things their way.