You probably know that the 2014 NBA Draft is taking place right now on ESPN, unless you lost track of it between all of the World Cup patriotism today or the nonstop “WHERE THE F*CK IS LEBRON GOING TO PLAY?!?!” headlines on every website from here to the Plushie Love Free Forum. Now, if you’re completely clueless to what the NBA Draft is, it’s basically where the NBA teams that really sucked this past season try to make decisions that will help their franchises moving forward, like picking the best player available with their selections and praying that the player will not only be good, but won’t leave them for Los Angeles, Boston, New York or Miami in a few years.
Sometimes those picks end up working out great for the teams, but I’d speculate that more often than not, they end up being terrible, and the teams that make the worst picks end up on annual listicles as the targets of bad jokes. Like, for example, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the No. 1 pick for the second year in a row, but after picking Anthony Bennett last year, they hope to actually use their No. 1 pick this year. That was just an example off the top of my head, but I hope you get the point. But the biggest thing to pay attention to tonight is the fashion, because NBA Draft picks have a long history of wearing some pretty awesome outfits.
Let’s take a look back at the last 30 years of NBA Draft fashion so you’ll understand why this year’s No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins looks like this tonight:
Pretty snazzy duds, right? Well, he’s just continuing in a long line of sharp-dressed men (listen to that song in another window while you take this trip down memory lane) like 1984 No. 1 pick Hakeem Olajuwon, to get us started.
First of all, David Stern’s 80s mustache game was hella tight. But much more importantly, Olajuwon’s tuxedo is the truest mark of NBA Draft fashion. That’s a man who understands both the importance and elegance of tonight’s event. Unfortunately, the tux never caught on as a universal thing. Some guys stuck to suits, but others still tried to look like a groomsman at a South Beach cocaine dealer’s wedding, like Chuck Person in 1986 (second from left).
Person may not have ended up as one of the league’s all-time greats, but he was responsible for one of the best character posters ever made. They don’t make them like that anymore.
By 1989, the NBA Draft had become about as stylish as a political convention. Look at this boring group of guys who look like they were just bused in for a Richard Marx concert in Vermont:
So boring. Well, aside from one insanely awesome mullet, the 1990 Draft wasn’t much better. These guys are here to see Michael Damien rock on:
Dwayne Schintzius never gets enough credit for that mullet. You won’t see that kind of hair action at the NBA Draft these days. If you ask me, Doug McDermott really let us down this year. In 1991, the suits didn’t get much crazier, but at least the Draft’s photo session became a little more fun thanks to Larry Johnson and his “I’m ready to pork you babes” club outfit.
A few years would pass, with plenty of boring suits in between, before Jalen Rose would become the Suit Game All-Star that the Draft so desperately needed.
If you’re not going to wear a tux, you might as well dress like a Dick Tracy character. But Rose wasn’t even the best suit that year. That honor went to Samari Walker.
Just amazing. Simply remarkable. Meanwhile, Steve Nash brought you a basketball for your Bar Mitzvah.