He traces its origin back to Bill Walton and former Sonic Slick Watts. Others, including Wilt, had rocked it before, but no one made it stick like these two seventies ballers. Walton had practical reasons: He wasn't going to cut his hair, and it couldn't be wet and scraggly in his eyes. While Watts was also concerned about perspiration, for him it was also part of an overall look:
Watts first wore his in college at Xavier College in New Orleans, primarily because he sweated so profusely. And even then, he already was shaving his head, long before Michael Jordan made that popular.Watts, who currently works in the Sonics organization, goes on to reveal that he "felt naked" without his headband. I'm pretty sure that "feeling naked" is a violation of the dress code, so someone had better get at Scott Skiles ASAP.
"I didn't like being called nappy," he said. "You could hardly find them anywhere, so I'd wear mine for weeks. Imagine how that smelled."
By the time he reached Seattle, where he played from 1973 to 1978, the headband was part of his uniform. It was his trademark, adding to the look and the smile and the friendly nature that made him so popular.
In all seriousness, both men feels their contribution has been cheapened through over-exposure. Watts thinks that only players with game should be allowed to sport headbands, and Walton sees it as yet another sign of rampant egomania. Then again, the real innovators are always bitter in the end.