Sport’s relationship with fashion has been a rocky one, and the NBA, in particular, has seen its fair share of highs and very, very lows. From the gargantuan suits of the 2000s through to a perfectly tailored, Thom Browne-outfitted Cleveland Cavaliers, you can never quite be sure of what you’re going to get. The last season has, at the very least, proven that COVID gave the players a chance to take a long, hard look at their wardrobes, and the outcome is really, really promising.
The old-fashioned boundaries that used to demarcate celebs, keeping them in ‘their lane’ have well and truly fallen down, and isn’t the world a more interesting place without these arbitrary rules? Nowadays, thanks in part to the limitless reach of social media, professional athletes are politicians, designers, and trendsetters.
To prove the burgeoning power of NBA style, we’ve taken five case studies that exemplify the lack of rules right now. From full Rick Owens looks via Tyler Herro through to neutral streetwear finesse from Chris Paul, the breadth of styles in professional basketball has never been greater and we’re here for it.
Chris Paul made his way to the hardwood recently with some serious understatement. Gone are the days of screaming graphics and unmissable bold colors — for now, anyway. In their place, Chris Paul pieced together a neutral masterpiece consisting of some trusty Jordan 3s complemented by a pair of big socks and shorts courtesy of Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God.
Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis showed out as they took a seat on the sidelines recently. These fits stand on the shoulders of great sneakers. LeBron sports a pair of Nike Dunk Low Retro “Brazil” while Davis opts for the Nike x Off-White™ 97 “The Queen”. LeBron’s endorsement of Cactus Plant Flea Market continues with a pair of collaboration Nike socks which blend well with the Brazil color palette.
One of the undisputed leaders of NBA style right now is Devin Booker. This relaxed fit is a well-curated ensemble from head to toe. A heavyweight wool overshirt from Nahmias kicks off the understated palette while keeping things interesting with a checked texture. Black cargo pants and a pair of Converse Chuck 70s never go wrong, and the finishing touch of a blue tie-dye tee adds a pop of color to the greyscale frame.
Tyler Herro kept things straightforward with a full fit courtesy of Rick Owens. From the Chuck-style kicks to the semi-sheer sweater, this outfit is simple with a twist. While this is definitely a divisive fit, whichever side of the line your fall on, there’s no denying that it embodies the new, borderless view of NBA style.
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