White Man Can’t Jump Hat, why is a cycling hat in the movie?


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White Man Can’t Jump is my favourite basketball film ever. It has everything a stella basketball film needs, such as good basketball scenes which don’t seem choreographed, comedy and a tale of an unlikely friendship. However, there has been a question which has always crossed my mind whilst watching the movie.

Why does Sidney wear a cycling hat in the movie? Apart from identifying the main leads during the basketball scenes, the only reason for Sidney wearing various cycling hats is style. The hat serves no other purpose than being a fashion statement. Sidney Deane is a good player and wants to show the world he is a good player. Sidney wants to show that his clothing reflects the way he plays.

Why is a Cycling Hat Worn?

As mentioned the hat is purely stylistic however, Woody Harrelson’s character, Billy Hoyle,  also wears a brightly coloured baseball cap in the movie. However, Billy is an awkward personality in the movie and his multicoloured hat reflects this. Billy does note possess the style which Sidney clearly has. As mentioned, one could assume that due to the movement in basketball matches the hats were worn to identify the main characters. As you can appreciate, all actors filming the basketball scene would have been in basketball apparel and therefore, it’s clear who the leads are through the identification of the hats.

The first cycling hat that is worn is a white Vintage Le Defi Cycling Cap which is worn at the start of the movie when Sidney is playing a game of horse against Billy. The hat is distinctive in style, with Le Defi writing in bold white within a light grey box, on the underside of the peak of the cap within. A newspaper tabloid writing effect is on the top of the peak with a red background and a white writing. There is a red centre stripe, which is shielded either side by two grey lines. The word Time is featured on the either side of the cap.

Later in the movie, Sidney wears the more distinctive Colnago hat, with the blue sides, black centre, orange peak and detail. This is the more famous cycling hat associated with the movie. The hat features a club symbol from a deck of cards on either side of the hat, the orange outline of clubs in the row down the centre line. The peak is orange with a club and Colnago written across the top and the same on the underside.

Can I still buy these hats?

The distinctive Colnago hat can still be purchased just follow the link here to where the hat is sold on amazon. However, the  white Vintage Le Defi Cycling Cap is very hard to find. The only times I have seen this for sale is in an Ebay auction therefore, you will have to be eagle eyed on Ebay to get one of these.

What other merchandise did White Man Can’t Jump produce ?

In 2009, there was a surge in popularity of White Man Can’t Jump and therefore, Nike decided to bring out a another new trainer in homage to the movie . The Nike Hyperlite has the iconic, Parental Advisory,  on the tongue of the trainer. This pays homage to the T-shirt worn by Woody Harrelson in the movie.

In 2014, Nike were back again with the Nike Air Flight Lite High ‘White Men Can’t Jump’. This shoe was a reissue of the 2009 Hyperflight. The bright colours on the shoe, represented the clothes worn by Sidney and Billy in the movie.

However, even NBA players want to get in on the act of paying homage to the iconic movie. LeBron James released a trainer which was inspired by white man can’t jump. Lebron James created the LeBron XIII, which clearly had its inspiration from the shoe worn by Woody Harrelson  in White man Can’t Jump.

Who was the better player out of Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson?

Ron shelton hired NBA legend Bob Lanier as the basketball adviser for the film. For those of you who do not know, Bob Lanier is a hall of famer who played for the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks. During filming Woody Harrelson chatted constantly about how good he was at basketball. Woody did have some pefdigree, he had played some ball in college. Lanier got tired of hearing Harrelson go on about how good he was and challenged him to a one on one. Harrelson later confirmed that the game was the most embarrassing fifteen minutes of his life as Lanier took him apart. There’s a big gap from “some college ball” to “NBA Hall of Famer”.

It was Lanier who, at the end of production, told Snipes and Harrelson that they were now of the ability that both players could start for am NCAA Division III side. He also famously stated that Harrelsons was the better player even though, in real life, Harrelson could not dunk on a ten foot rim. During shooting the rim had to be lowered for Harrelsons to make that famous gane winning dunk (this isn’t a spoiler, if you haven’t seen this film then you should hang your head in shame).

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James

A basketball court was built in my local park and at 15 years of age I fell in love with basketball. A late joiner to the game, I have played every season since. Some Indiana friends bought me some Pacers gear for my 17th birthday, and I have supported them ever since (who wants to follow the crowd). I love American sports apparel and the presentation of sports, they do it so well (bar all the advert breaks).

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