As we all know, dressing cool for pre and postgame pictures is the most important thing in today’s NBA. Just think about it — 15 guys a year become champions, but only one person can be the NBA’s best dressed. Math tells us that 15 is more than one, ergo it’s way better to be well-dressed. I’m sure you follow this logic.
That’s why it’s no surprise GQ magazine would do a big article on “The NBA’s New Style Wars” for their April “Style Bible” issue. Even though April isn’t for a couple more days, you can already check the stuff out online to learn how to be great at clothes. And let me tell you, friends, there are some killer quotes in there.
We’ll start with Tyson Chandler, who used to look like an Amish hipster but is now rocking the goth ninja look. It’s a pretty extreme look, especially on a guy who’s 7-foot-1, but that’s why Tyson wants to explain to everyone how to pull it off. Here he is talking about drop-crotch pants.
Whether he’s home painting with his son, Tyson II (pictured), or walking into an arena on game day, the California native goes all-in on the Gotham City look—complete with those infamous drop-crotch pants. “Believe it or not,” he says, “anybody can wear them.”
Remember guys, this is Mr. Capes who is telling you how easy it is to wear these pants, so take this with a grain of salt. I will say that the drop-crotches are comfortable, but it can often make it look like you have dropped something else in your pants. Word of warning.
Perhaps you will be more interested in his next maneuver.
Now Tyson’s looking ahead to the next big thing: sweatpants paired with blazers. “When I say sweatpants, I’m not talking about your typical lie-around-the-house sweatpants. I’m talking about that same soft fabric but in a structured, tailored cut. It sounds crazy, but trust me.”
This is a move that style bros have been pulling for a couple years now, so it’s not terribly surprising that someone in the NBA would catch wind of it. And yeah, you can definitely make this happen, though I do wonder if wearing fancy, tailored sweats is against the league’s dress code. If jeans are banned, I have a feeling sweatpants are too. These are the kinds of things that keep David Stern up at night.
But enough about Tyson Chandler. Let’s talk about Russell Westbrook, who apparently has a new nickname.
A few days later, Westbrook’s publicist tells me that within certain rarefied fashion circles, RW is known as “the Kate Moss of the NBA.” Evidently somebody at Vogue wrote this to her in an e-mail. When I ask Russ how he feels about being compared to a female British supermodel famous for making heroin chic and saying things like “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” he assures me he’s cool with it. “It’s a little different,” he says. “But I think it got said because some people are not afraid to do certain things or wear certain stuff. You have to have a certain swagger about you.”
OK well, I guess we’ll all be calling Russell Westbrook “Kate Moss” from now on. Those are the breaks when your publicist tells everyone that fashion people call you “the Kate Moss of the NBA.” I’m not sure what effect this will have on the Kate Scale, but I’m guessing it’ll land somewhere between “catastrophic” and “not a big deal.” (This paragraph paid for in part by the Quotation Mark Foundation.)
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE.
Ever wanted to hear David Stern gush about how good-looking NBA players are? Wait no longer.
Stern freely admits he never saw this coming, and then goes on to imply that he kinda saw this coming. Right after the code was instituted, “a lot of players would whisper to me, I don’t know what the fuss is about. Let’s go! There was a sense that this allowed players to express their sense of style. Our players, individually, took it as a catalyst to show themselves off. And suddenly the response from the public was so overwhelmingly positive that, you know, it’s getting to be like the red carpet at the Grammys. Who’s dressing you tonight? Armani. Now they are among the best-looking, best-shaped models in the world.”
Kind of nice, right? David Stern legitimately called NBA players “the best-looking, best-shaped models in the world,” which is a very sweet compliment. I guess David Stern really does love his league’s players. Heart-warming.
However, as you might expect, it’s the Miami Heat who really take the cake when it comes to talking fashion. And I say this because they have the absolute best quotes in this thing. First, Shane Battier:
Battier, who limits his own aspirations to “suburban-dad hot” (tailored button-ups under V-neck sweaters with jeans) [...]
A classic, but nowhere near the monster quote Dwyane Wade offered to Ray Allen. Prepare for greatness.
Dwyane Wade is pulling on a pair of electric-blue Scotch & Soda trousers, which he hikes up to showcase his multicolored hosiery as he hollers, “You need to raise your sock game,” in Ray Allen’s direction.
Yes, Dwyane Wade! Great quote. Just a stellar zing — “You need to raise your sock game.” Were I attending a game where the Heat were the opponents, I’d be yelling “Raise your sock game” pretty much every time Ray Allen touched the ball. What a weird, non-hurtful, silly insult. Good job, good effort.
The whole GQ piece is well worth a read, just to hear the extent these guys go to to look good. It’s not easy buying giant clothes that look normal, so it’s quite an adventure. At the very least, you’ll be able drop a solid “Raise your sock game” any time one of your buddies wears some ratty socks. Good times.