I vividly remember waking up every Sunday morning, excitedly running down stairs to the VCR, spinning back the tape and checking to see if what I’d planned to record had actually worked. It was the late 90s and Channel 4 had signed a three year deal to air live NBA games and feature a weekly magazine show. I remember the awe my friends and I had as we watched Kobe Bryant in his rookie year win the slam dunk competition with a dunk through the legs. We ran to the basketball courts immediately after, trying to imitate the amazing feat of athleticism we’d just witnessed. But as the new millennium came and went so did the coverage of the NBA on UK television. My friends and I grew older and stopped checking up on the scores and the latest trades. Jordan had retired and we were growing up, partying, girls and later jobs got in the way of ‘shooting hoops’.
That was until recently, a video game rekindled my love affair with the NBA. High speed internet has made it a piece of cake to keep up to date, I can see clips on youtube and the official NBA website. Google Now on my Android even gives me updates on my favourite team as the game is happening, it’s a great time to be a fan.
But over a decade has passed since I was this keen on the sport and while I was catching up with the new stars of the league, I noticed something else I’d never seen before; the players all of a sudden got stylish!
Velour tracksuits and over sized suits were the pre-game apparel in the late 90s, yet now you’re more likely to see a bow tie, man bag and coloured chinos. Each time I watch the highlight clips on NBA.com, I’m just as excited to see what Russell Westbrook is going to wear as I am seeing the top plays of the night.
It seems as though all of a sudden some of the league’s stars have grown up when it comes to fashion. They are, dare I say it, starting to look more ‘GQ’. In fact, many have won style accolades or have been featured in ‘best dressed’ lists, even despite the ridicule they get from some of the spectators and commentators of the sport.
Yesterday I was checking out this picture of some of the Miami heat team goofing around in the white house and noticed a comment about the cut of their suits being too fitted.
Which suggests that NBA players now are embracing great style, more so than just wearing what’s current.
Russell Westbrook regularly gets flack for some of his more eccentric fashion choices. But I actually love that he just wears what he wants regardless of what comments he gets.
When I think of sportsmen, other than David Beckham, I rarely put them and great style together in the same bracket. But it looks as though some of the NBA stars are out to change that idea and long may it continue. I think this illustrates that men can be interested in fashion and it’s no longer considered feminine to like clothes. Especially when this message comes from some of sport’s elite; often seen as the pinnacle of masculinity amongst the general public.
Are you a fan of the NBA? Noticed a change in the dress sense of the players over the years?
Maybe you just like the style of the guys featured in the post? Either way I’d love to hear from you.
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