Utah’s no-headband policy reportedly stemmed from the days of legendary coaches Frank Layden and Jerry Sloan, then continued with Ty Corbin. Although nothing was written in stone, they encouraged players to stand out with their play, and not their on-court style, which is why guys were pushed to keep their jerseys tucked in and play with the same colored socks to keep the focus on team unity for many years.
“We ran the analytics and found he shoots better with a headband,” Snyder said of Conley. “So, I have encouraged him to wear one. … Joe Ingles also thinks he shot better with one last year, so he asked me if he could wear one … if that’s the case I might wear one too!”
The NBA won’t allow players to wear “ninja-style headwear” this season. Several players — including the Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday, the LA Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns and the Brooklyn Nets’ Jarrett Allen — regularly wore the headgear a season ago.
“The ninja-style headwear is not part of the NBA uniform and hasn’t been through the league approval process,” Bass told ESPN in a statement. “Teams have raised concerns regarding safety and consistency of size, length and how they are tied which requires a thorough review before consideration of any rule change.