Jalen Green Wants To Show Fans How To Create Tunnel Looks For Less

Of all the cultural overlaps in the NBA, fashion and style has got to be the biggest. There are some fans who’ve picked favorite athletes — and, by association, the team they’ll root for — by their tunnel looks alone. It makes sense this is an entry point to the sport. One of the best parts basketball is its visibility, that the action and all the expressive emotions it brings is on display. The same goes for style, with pre-game fits and off-court fashion giving a glimpse into player personalities and ultimately being another facet that draws people to the game.

With style becoming such a cornerstone of the NBA, fans also look to athletes to emulate their looks or take cues into elements they can fold into their own closets. For most fans, a favorite player’s sneakers or a ticket to a game counts as a splurge, so dressing exactly like the flashiest in the league isn’t possible. In its series “Ball on a Budget,” Chime wants to show people they can get tunnel ready without breaking the bank. The premise is simple enough: with the help of stylist Courtney Mays, four players — Karl-Anthony Towns, Tim Hardaway Jr., Javale McGee, and Jalen Green — can use two days worth of their league per diem ($300 total) to put together a tunnel look they’ll wear to a game. Towns, who stresses cool is “all in the swag,” goes with low top black Converse All-Stars because they’re timeless, McGee picks a head to toe Dickies workwear ensemble, Hardaway Jr. goes rugged, and Green digs through a thrift store for a vintage tee and red Adidas sneakers.

The entire series, which is practical as it is cute, can be viewed on Chime’s YouTube channel. Dime caught up with Green to go a little deeper into his approach to style, how his approach money is carried over from the G League, the best dressers on the Rockets, the best advice he got all year, and the biggest takeaway from this season.

I was just in Houston to cover the All American Game, but I wish I knew about the store you visited in your episode. Full Court looks so cool.

Full Court’s my little store, it’s got everything. Everything’s so cheap, too.

Would you say your overall approach to shopping for clothes is all that different than the approach you took in your Ball on a Budget episode? Do you like getting in and browsing like that?

Yeah, I always do that. I feel like that’s my main approach all the time. When I see clothes worth, like, $3,000, just to buy one thing, it kind of hurts my heart. Anytime I get something cheap, it’s a win for me.

You say in your ep that you try to save as much as you can, to have your money make money. Where did you pick up that mentality, or who instilled that in you?

I kinda learned that from the G League. Being in the G League, you know, we had school teaching us how to save money. That was something that they really preached to us and really wanted us to know, ‘cause we’re so young in high school. I mean, we’re young just coming out of high school, and making that much money, you could really do anything with it, so they wanted to make sure we were saving money and being responsible. And being professionals at the end of the day.

Would you say those lessons are still in the back of your head?

Yeah, for sure. Where I’m at now, year two NBA, things are getting better each year and people around me are having more opportunities and giving me more opportunities. So I think the people I have around me help out a lot too with that.

I wanted to touch on something I really like about the series. So many fans now love the fashion side of the league as much as the basketball, you’ve got accounts like League Fits that detail all the really flashy tunnel looks. Your average fan might be able to get a pair of sneakers or a piece here or there, but can’t replicate entire looks. The series deconstructs that idea and makes style more approachable to everybody.

People gotta understand, just because it says designer or whatever, it doesn’t mean that it’s really fashion. You could wear designer and not know how to put it together. You could wear designer and it won’t look good on everybody. But you could go to a thrift store and buy a whole outfit and make it look good. So just because it says it’s designer doesn’t mean that it’s drip, you know?

Yeah exactly. You can look pretty goofy in all designer. Would you say making style more approachable in this way is kind of important?

For sure. Like you said, there’s people that look at the fashion side, not even the basketball side, and for me, I look up to people that dress a certain way. I know people out there look up to NBA payers and want to dress just like them. So being able to make it approachable, being able to show that you could go to this store and have a budget and get this, I think it’s very cool.

You say in your episode that you like style because it’s a way for people to get to know you. What would you say are the main elements of your style, when it comes to how it reflects your personality?

I’m starting to now switch it up a lot more and try new styles. Whether you want to go old school and wear baggy styles, or you want to rock skinny jeans, it just depends on what I’m feeling that day but I try to switch it up. I like a variety of different things, I like colors, I like things that pop. I like trying a whole bunch of different things.

Do you ever use style as a bit of a cheat, like if you’re not feeling totally confident one day but you need to kind of hype yourself up?

If I’m not feeling it one day, I’ll probably just throw on some random stuff just to go outside the box. I’m a big comfy guy. So I’ll pick comfort over everything all the time. So when you catch me throwing it on, putting on a drip outfit, it’s a good day.

I’ll remember that.


What’s one item of clothing you’re always kind of looking for the perfect version of?

Mmhmm. Yeah, I would say a black t-shirt.

What have been some standout tunnel looks for you, either your own, teammates, or anyone around the league?

I got guys on my team, I’m going to shout the brothers out. Josh Christopher be having some good tunnel fits. Alperen Sengun has some good tunnels fits. I think Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander] has some good tunnels fits. Those guys, they’re who I’m going to shout out when it comes to that.

You’re just about done with your second season in the NBA, I was curious what have been your biggest takeaways so far?

From the season, I would say there’s one thing one of my athletic trainers told me, he was saying there’s really no losses in the NBA, there’s only wins and learning lessons. I think that was probably one of the biggest things I took away all season, just because we were the worst team in the NBA — we are the worst team, we still got two more games left — and we’re just trying to not be down on ourselves every game and learn as much as we can each game. Because there were games we were close to beating teams, there’s games that we should’ve won, so we gotta take it all in as a learning lesson.

Based on that, would you say you’re a very resilient kind of person? It just strikes me you need to be resilient to not get down on yourself about that kind of thing.

Yeah, I would say I am. Just because I feel like I have a good outlook of what the angle is and what it could be. You need resiliency to be a part of your team, a part of your mindset, to continue to go forward and progress and get better each year, each summer, no matter what you’re doing. So yeah, I would say I am.