It’s no secret that NBA players are having more fun than ever with their wardrobes. We’re deep into the playoffs and the post-game interviews have produced more memorable outfits than most runway collections do. Here’s my sartorial starting lineup:
Point Guard – Russell Westbrook
His shirt may be covered in lures and tackles, but the way that OKC is playing, he isn’t going fishing any time soon. He may not be the most efficient scorer, but he did find a way to combine his four favorite shirts into one.
I’m glad that the Oklahoma City Thunder made it to the Finals, if only so that we can see what else Westbrook will pull out of his closet for the post-game interviews. His horn-rimmed “nerd” glasses, popular among many NBA stars these days, and print polo ensembles have been analyzed more than his signature pick-and-roll.
*Not a fact.
Shooting Guard – Dwayne Wade
He might be second banana to LeBron on the Miami Heat, but D-Wade is the style MVP.
He rocks a lot of cashmere for a man playing in sweltering Miami, which is probably why he’s shirtless in the latest issue of Vogue.
D-Wade is friends with Grace Coddington and you are not. D-Wade is dating Gabrielle Union and you are not.
Power Forward/Center – Amar’e Stoudemire
Another Vogue alumni, Amar’e has stepped up his style game since being traded to the New York Knicks two years ago.
He hits major fashion events with the same enthusiasm as hitting that fire extinguisher last month. Speaking of which…
KD easily has the best nickname in sports: “Durantula,” which totally belies his humility, calmness, and the fact that he’s not a spider. And so far as I know, the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar is the only athlete to spawn an accessory craze that wasn’t about a sneaker.
In several post-game interviews during the 2011 playoffs, Durant sported fully-buttoned-up shirts and a backpack with every strap buckled up. Everyone wanted to know what was in the bag and it quickly became an internet meme, spurring Nike to create a line of KD backpacks.
Sixth Man – James Harden
Even Oklahoma City natives The Flaming Lips are on the James Harden bandwagon.
Harden rightfully deserved this year’s Sixth Man award (for most valuable bench player) but I think he’s also the obvious winner of the Outstanding Facial Hair.
Hall of Fame – Walt “Clyde” Frazier
Honorable Mention – Reporter Craig Sager
text by Daniel Reis