When the NBA started enforcing a dress code more than a decade ago, it was largely seen as a thinly-veiled plot to dial down the prevalence of urban street-wear so that the league could preserve its image among its white viewership. No one could’ve anticipated then that it would help launch a whole new subset of the fashion industry.
NBA players have embraced high fashion the way few could have expected when baggy shirts, jerseys, and jeans were the norm, but today basketball players tend to stay on the leading edge of top trends and designers.
Today, when NBA stars arrive at their respective arenas, it’s its own form a red carpet debut, with photographers and camera-people lining up to find out what kind of audacious outfits they’ll be wearing. So it’s no surprise that on Sports Illustrated’s annual Fashionable 50 list, which polls stylists, fashion experts, and others, NBA stars landed four of the top 10 spots.