Fighting Illini: We Had the Baggy Shorts Before the Fab Five

After this week’s Fab 5 30 for 30 on ESPN, some college players from back in the day are taking exception to the history that the special portrayed. members of the 1989 Illinois Fighting Illini (or the Flyin’ Illini as Dick Vitale referred to them) said that is was they who created the baggy short look that changed the way basketball “looked”.

On a Chicago radio program, Former Illini Stephen Bardo stated:

“I do think it’s revisionist history because they did not start the baggy shorts [trend], we did. The Flyin’ Illini did. That was Kendall Gill that started that, that wasn’t Jalen Rose. So I know he took credit for that, but I have to remind people that we had baggy shorts before they came on the scene.”

Kendall Gill co-signed Bardo:

“Yeah, he’s telling the absolute truth…And I can tell you they probably won’t admit [it], but Juwan [Howard] and Chris Webber would come up to us, myself, Nick Anderson, Steve Bardo, when they would see us when they got into the league and they would say, ‘You know what? We wore our shorts long because you guys did it, the Flyin’ Illini.’ They bit off of us. They did.”

Gill did go on to admit though that the Fab 5 took that swag to new heights with the black socks, shoes, etc.

(via ESPN)