by Damaris Lewis
I’ve been modeling in the fashion industry for almost eight years now. That said, I fully appreciate the importance of appearance. When I have a day off you can usually find me in bland, all-black clothing. But when I’m in work mode, you can be sure that I’m paying close attention to my attire.
This is exactly what’s happening today in the NBA: the good, the bad, the ugly, the confused, and the I-just-don’t-cares. No, I am not talking about style of play, I am referring to style of dress.
When I think of seasons past, I don’t recall an abundance of people caring if Dwyane Wade’s pants were long enough or if Russell Westbrook’s bag was a real bag or a makeup bag. But now? Times have changed. Many people are just as concerned with whether or not a player has lenses in his frames as they are with his thoughts on losing Game 5.
Truthfully, I love a man in a suit. There are many players who are still wearing suits to the games, and they look just as stylish. When a player is injured, what is he usually wearing? No, not Shaq’s costume from “Kazaam,” but usually a clean-cut, well-tailored suit. It’s classy, and it also conveys, “even though I can’t be on the floor playing with my teammates, I came to work today.”
Then there are the risk-takers. Wade recently wore an all-orange outfit that he said was a color called “Tango.” When I first saw what he had on, I couldn’t help but ask, “Orange you glad he didn’t say banana?” I’d wear that outfit if it was Halloween and I was attempting to dress up as a Spalding ball.
You also have a color-coded risk taker like Paul George, who opted for a shade of green on May 22nd when the Pacers were beat by the Heat by a point in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
The true question here is, why the sudden care? Should we be intrigued or furious over their outfit choices? Will the air that hits Dwyane’s ankle due to the shortness of his pants mess up his jump shot? NO, NO and NO. Personally, I enjoy seeing what crazy style some of these guys are going to throw on before a game, but how different is a crazy style than a crazy dunk?
If LeBron James hits a simple jump shot from inside the 3-point line, it’s two points. If Roy Hibbert takes a shot from the same point that ends up beating the buzzer and making the crowd go wild, it’s two points. That’s how we should look at NBA style. LeBron could show up to the game in a plain black suit, and Roy could walk off the team bus in scuba gear, it won’t matter because at the end of the day it’s about those two points.
So Russell, you wear that man purse. Dwyane, you Tango your way down to the press room. And Paul, you dress like that superhero you embody on the court. These men are making the statement that they are not just playing cards, but individuals who do not care if someone does not like their outfit.
And I love that. If everyone loved the same clothes, designers would not have jobs, catwalks and runways would not exist. As long as their focus never strays from the game, being athletic fashion ambassadors is fine by me.
But remember fellas, a lady will always love a man in a suit.
Damaris Lewis is a model from Brooklyn, NY. You can follow her on Twitter here.