A player’s shoes always make a statement. Pregame, many choose to go with high-fashion dress shoes or sneakers. During games, a player can have career-defining moments that get memorialized by the shoes he wore. A player’s in-game sneakers often represent more than athletic performance. Notes can be seen scribbled across the sides, or logos crafted specifically for the player become globally recognizable symbols that represent the growth and influence of the game. In fact, the global aspect of basketball extends to shoes, as several NBA players now endorse Chinese shoe companies.
In this spotlight, we will highlight both the sneakers worn during the game, and the shoes that made the biggest statements during arrivals. As always, keep up with the conversation using #NBAStyle.
James Harden is a known risk taker, and goes all-out with multi-colored studded sneakers, which he pairs with a printed button down.
While many NBA players have different interpretations of high fashion and the latest trends, some are sticking with basic suits, while still mixing it up a bit. Perhaps the most important facet of today’s suit is an ability to break up the pieces and wear them with other items in your wardrobe. Let’s take a look at several different styles, including trends that can become part of any closet. Keep up with the conversation using #NBAStyle.
THE EXPERTLY TAILORED SUIT
Derrick Rose, Amar’e Stoudemire and Zach Randolph are in favor of finely tailored, slim cuts.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER – Part of the fun of the NBA Playoffs is that everything is amplified, from the intensity to the passion to the very stakes everyone is playing for. it is win or go home, and frankly, win or go home, NBA players want to look as sharp as they can while doing either.
Check out some of the looks these NBA stars put together over the first week of the Playoffs, from the fashion forward styles of guys like Russell Westbrook and James Harden, to LeBron James‘ sweater/blazer combo, to the classic suits on players like Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala. Skinny ties are worn by several players, and dudes like Mike Conley (cardigan) and Harden (plaid vest with a pocket square) displayed popular recent trends. And also, Russell Westbrook wore a leather shirt.
All these players and more are featured in the gallery below. Who wore it best? Give us your thoughts in the comments section, and keep the conversation going on Twitter by using #NBAStyle.
Missed the cut: Greg Oden, Trail Blazers (injured); Michael Redd, Bucks (injured)
Team synopsis: A very young Ohio State team is proof of the work coach Thad Matta has done in Columbus. This team would certainly be better if Oden or Redd were available, but neither has appeared in a game this season so they remain ineligible (though Redd says he’ll return soon). Conley is blossoming into a competent starting point guard, but Turner, a rookie, is still raw. Neither Koufos nor Mullens has made an impact on the league yet, although both have nice statistical rates for the limited minutes they have played.(more…)
Today is Monday, which means it’s time for another fabulous edition of Extend, Trade or Cut. Speaking of Mondays (excellent segue Micah), last Monday was the final day for teams to offer contract extensions to players from the 2007 Draft class, or risk said players becoming restricted free agents when the season ends. Not many players ended up with that security this year, in part due to labor negotiations and in part due to lack of talent/production. Of the 30 players drafted in the first round, only Kevin Durant (duh), Al Horford, Mike Conley (surprise!), Joakim Noah, and Jared Dudley signed on the line which is dotted to secure their playing futures for the next several years.
So what of the players left in the cold, forced to play for their (future) pay this season? Today we examine three players in that current situation: Houston’s Aaron Brooks, OKC’s Jeff Green, and Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey.
Just to refresh you on the rules, picture yourself as the GM of a mythical NBA franchise, and pretend that you have to choose between three players. One player you can extend with a new contract, one player you have to trade for some mythical asset(s), and one player you must cut from your roster for eternity (it’s a harsh world). You may choose each option only once.
Let’s examine the evidence:
Aaron Brooks – The Rockets’ speedy point guard is perhaps a victim of circumstance rather than undeserving of a long-term deal; Houston made a decision across the board not to extend anyone without a new CBA. In more certain times, I’d say it’s pretty likely Brooks would have a deal. Brooks was the Most Improved Player in the league last year, starting all 82 games for the Rockets and averaging 19.2 ppg. He’s a scoring point more than a distributor though, and at his size he’s not much of a defensive presence.
Jeff Green – People are ALL over the map about this guy. Some see him as a crucial component to the Thunder’s future, a Scottie Pippen jack-of-all-trades to Durant’s Jordan. Others think he’s overhyped, and point to the fact that OKC’s plus/minus is consistently worse with him on the floor than off it.
Rodney Stuckey – Stuckey started fast out of the gate in his career, looking at times like a future star in his first couple seasons with the Pistons. But he too is a bit of a tweener – is he a point? Is he a shooting guard? Lately, he appears to have fallen into Pistons’ coach John Kuester‘s doghouse, getting benched for most of the second half in a game against the Hawks last week. How much of that is just the dysfunction of playing with a seemingly rudderless franchise right now?
All right, the pins are set. Knock ‘em down with your vote below:
UPDATE: Aaron Brooks is apparently out 4-6 weeks with an ankle injury – I can’t tell you what to do, so if you want that to factor into your hypothetical decision feel free, but I’d say you can pretend for the sake of argument that he’s a picture of health.
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