Shopping for a sports fan should be easy. If the person you’re getting a gift for has a favorite team, you can find items that surround that favorite team – from shirts and hats to toasters and spatulas – but what happens when you run through most of that stuff and, well, that special someone doesn’t need another Pistons wallet?
That’s where creativity comes into play. And luckily, with the way basketball has become a culture and not just a sport, it’s a lot easier than it used to be to find great gifts for hoopheads. The typical standbys apply, but dig deeper and you can find items for an entire lifestyle, not just clichés with a logo slapped on.
This year for the DIME holiday gift guide, we’re trying to give you starters. Each of these gifts are great as standalones, but represent a category essentially, or a road you can go down to make that special fan in your life happy. We may all lose to a symbolic version of the Warriors in the end, but we can have some fun along the way.
Oakley Frogskins Lite
Honestly, you could get someone a pair of quality sunglasses every single year and be safe. Oakley took its popular Frogskins line and revamped it by going semi-rimless to try and combine function and style. Oakleys are always a decent bet as they are durable (important for people who just throw stuff around or into a duffle or pack), great on the go, and offer legitimate UV and glare protection. Plus they pretty much go with whatever fit you’re rocking.
Buy It Here for $133
Levi’s NBA Denim Trucker Jacket
Somehow, someway the denim jacket has remained a staple of fashion throughout phases, fads, and themes. Just when we think it’ll fall out of favor, it jumps back up like a nice pair of ankle boots or a gray suit. Levi’s still does it best, with a nice price point and minimalist touches. Their NBA collection maintains that consistency – you’ve got a logo or emblem on the front, team name on the back, and that’s it. It helps your kicks or your layering do the talking. There are nine teams so far, but if yours isn’t included yet, just wait on it.
Spalding TF-1000 Platinum ZK Basketball
Everybody needs a basketball. If you have a basketball, you need another basketball. I may or may not have three in the trunk of my car right now. The Platinum ZK is a really good indoor ball with solid grip that isn’t too slippery, even if TF-1000 reads like a killer robot sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor. It takes a few uses to get it to its sweet spot, but once you break it in, at that price range (above the entry tier but below where you’re not dropping official game ball money) it’s a decent bet. It’s pretty much a guarantee that every year there’s going to be a basketball in this gift guide.
Buy It Here for $64.99
Braun Series 9
Most of us can’t be The Beard, but we still need to pay closer attention to our facial hair on and off the court. The Series 9 is a beast; it works well wet or dry, the trimmer setting is easy to use and cleans you right up in minutes, and the main razor head stands up to sensitive skin. If you’re looking to make the jump over from disposables to electric, this is a great gateway option. Solid features, classic design, good battery life, and you know, it shaves your face well, which is important.
Fanatics Fast Break Jersey
This falls in line with the basketball as a gift idea. The Fast Break won’t break the bank, as Fanatics has taken over the “replica” jersey while Nike has the officials, but it has enough touches to feel legit. Nobody is ever going to complain if you get them a jersey, as long as you’re not buying them one of a team they hate.
Buy One Here
Beats Solo3 Headphones
A few factors come into play when diving into the wireless headphone pool: sound quality, appearance, weight, battery, and pairing capability. Beats has really improved on all of these over time, blowing away previous iterations and ending up with a pair of headphones that look great, can pack into a gym bag or backpack easily, will last a long time on a charge (and charge pretty dang fast) and connect to your phone (or computer) with ease. I was so hesitant when I got my first set of wireless headphones that I’d be bothered by having to constantly charge or worry about bluetooth, but I’ll never go back. These are a must for anyone who travels frequently, commutes to work using public transit, walks a lot, or just listens to music to escape the world.
TAYLRD Coastal Collection Shirt
Let’s face it, most of us can’t afford to dress like Russell Westbrook even if we wanted to. But there are ways to take little risks and get your inner Brodie on. TAYLRD offers a collection of true to fit shirts with striking but versatile designs that’ll allow you to push a bit beyond solid tees or collared shirts. Not everyone can pull off a photographer’s vest or mesh, but even the most conservative dresser could afford to toss patterns into the rotation once in awhile.
Buy It Here
BetaBall by Erik Malinowski
Okay, maybe this is a pet pick as Erik is a friend of the site, one-time contributor, and an all-around good dude. But this book breaks down the rise of the Warriors in a way few have. It’s a quick read (seriously, you can probably knock it out in one cross-country flight), is packed with details, and takes a fresh approach that will entertain even those who don’t typically like sports books. For a taste of what to expect, here’s an excerpt featuring Draymond Green.
LIDS Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air Jacket
The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air has held up, and nostalgia never really goes out of style anyway. Honor one of the TV universe’s best ballers with satin letterman’s jacket and you can run the “Pass it to Will” offense on your own.
Buy It Here
Under Armour Shearling Boot
Under Armour has found a real hit with the Curry line, but don’t sleep on their lifestyle sneakers and apparel. The Shearling boots offer a somewhat classic design and a chance to stay warm in the winter without completely sacrificing style. They aren’t nearly as bulky as other boots, but will still hold up when walking around snowy cities or bouncing from the train to work.
NBA Sports Crate
Subscription boxes are an easy way to give a gift that lasts a lot longer than the holidays. And if you’re stuck on what to get someone, or have trouble making decisions, this takes it out of your hands. Each month you get a different batch of goodies, and the theme is they’ll all involve your favorite team. While they get repetitive after a few months, it’s still great to have something to look forward to in the mail and Sports Crate has partnered with tried and true brands like New Era and Mitchell and Ness to keep things interesting.
Buy It Here
Air Jordan 1 Flyknit
The original gets the Flyknit treatment for a bump in comfort and texture. AJ1s go with anything, and the Flyknit refreshes the classic silhouette for a more modern touch. You can’t go wrong here.
Adidas ARCHIVE_M1 Watch
The ARCHIVE is a throwback, taking its cue from old-school Casio watches and adidas’ heritage from the 70s and 80s. It makes a statement by being understated and will play well as an off-day watch to take a break from your smartwatch or dresswatch. Timepieces always have a place in fashion, and this is a way to give an athletic-inspired one that’ll still look good.