Style is about more than fashion. It’s a statement of your identity. There is perhaps no group whose use of personal style is more fascinating to witness than the highly-gifted community of NBA athletes.
There are few people who represent the influence, skill, aptitude, physical prowess, and ultimate life-force better than NBA basketball players-- who have earned the awe of men, women, children, even celebrities (think Jack Nicholson courtside at every Laker game) alike. If style is an extension of one's true self, then who better to sport traffic-stopping ensembles as a representation of their feral physical personas?
Here are some stylishly iconic NBA players:
OKC Thunder's Russell Westbrook, aka the Kate Moss of the NBA, is a great example of an individualistic, and in his case, part-punk, part-rebel style portrayal that is entirely true to who he is. His trousseau isn't just made up of excessive get-ups other men wouldn't dare wear - it's an actual look he has been developing since he was a child. Westbrook's flair is a true reflection of his lightning-fast, combative, unapologetic force on the court, where he makes no qualms about his utter disregard for anyone else. His talent and passion is aptly displayed in his wardrobe, and one doesn't have to buy the leather pants in order to give props to the young force to be reckoned with, on and off the court.
The topic of fashion in the NBA cannot be braced without a look at rival team Miami Heat's fashion-donning star, Dwyane Wade. Dressing true to his nickname of "Flash" on the court, Wade's innovation and skillful outmaneuvering of opponents is brilliantly displayed in his various ensembles consisting of Scotch and Soda pants, flawlessly tailored suits, and luxe accessories. His fashion moves break boundaries, yet he is accepted even in the cheeky world of Hollywood glamour as arm-candy of longtime girlfriend, actress Gabrielle Union. His most memorable fashion move to date? Arguably the red-yellow-chocolate patent-leather Louboutins he wore during the Heat's visit to the White House. The result was unconventional and endearingly juvenile ease, very true to Wade's lighthearted court-side self.
READ: Son of Muslim Lesbians: NBA's Kenneth Faried Speaks Out [VIDEO] -- ILLUME
Arguably the most-loved athlete on the planet, the world has watched Kobe Bryant grow as an athlete and fashion-icon for the last 17 years. "I prefer a more sophisticated look...try to stay away from the young-boy thing," he told us when we caught up with him pre-injury after a victory against the Kings. Amidst the hubbub of press room chaos, Kobe is quite receptive to fashion questions. Fashion clearly has a place in Kobe's heart, as he aspires to his veteran place in the league with an easy chic in slim Italian suits and the occasional lavish accessory - an effortlessness that younger players of the league cannot afford to adopt just yet. After all, if THE Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers is not the man to rock a herringbone overcoat with fur stole and ombre wingtips well then...who exactly is??
The red carpet of the NBA, also known as the playoffs in June, will only bring more awe-inspiring looks of efficacious swagger the world awaits to see. And rightly so. The men of the NBA are no ordinary human beings after all - they are physical anomalies of creation. And such wonders should be fittingly "fitted" with equally wondrous threads, no matter what the world thinks. Never any less.
Saba is the founder and owner of Style By Design, an image consulting firm that helps people work with their own personal PR. Her work includes style and fashion consulting, career image consulting and overall personal design. She has worked with clients from all walks of life, from NBA players to lawyers. Follow her blog at http://www.sbdstyle.blogspot.com/. Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/sbdimageconsulting