Today’s NBA superstars not only view themselves as part of the business of basketball, but in the business of entertainment as well. Players display signature moves on the court and signature attire off of it. Both are reflective of the individual’s personalities and sense of style.
Rating style is no science. There are no numbers, stats or championships (at least not yet) to determine confidence and swagger. Still, I examined those I feel most greatly exhibit a special sense of style and flair and have come up with the NBA’s top 10 best dressed. Extra points for those who connect their on-court demeanor with their off-court esthetics.
Here are my power rankings for the best dressed players in the NBA.
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10. TONY PARKER
Tony Parker isn’t the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of NBA fashion, but he’s in our top 10. The Spurs floor general has been seen on the red carpet, rocking a lively lavender silk shirt with a matching pocket square, accentuated by a subtle pinstripe suit. Parker’s fashion sense is similar to his court sense, with a quiet, yet fierce demeanor. His mother, Pamela, aided in the development of his fashion sense as she was a Dutch model herself.
9. STEVE NASH
Nash is hip to the game when it comes to fashion. Nash was spotted earlier this year sporting a white button-up, v-neck sweater combo. While the sweater was salmon, the top of the dress shirt was home to a uniquely patterned bow tie from Dapper and Dash. To top off his pregame attire, the Laker point guard was accompanied by a Louis Vuitton Damier Toiletry bag that goes for $570. In the pregame, Nash had the look of a college professor right before giving the Mavericks a veteran lesson.
8. KEVIN GARNETT
KG is respected throughout NBA circles as one of the select few great low post players left in the league. While he may be categorized as more of a classic post player at a time where the position is evolving, Garnett wears a classic look wherever he goes.
KG’s presence on the court might be loud but his style after the game is not as aggressive. Garnett doesn’t wear anything flashy, but you can usually catch the Big Ticket during the postgame wearing one of his trademark scarves along with a trendy pair of glasses. While his fashion sense might not be as new school as the others, KG is in a league of his own.
7. DERRICK ROSE
The face of Chicago was seen in last May’s issue of GQ rocking threads from Dolce & Gabbana that total just under a cool $2,400. Rose’s demeanor on the court is equivalent to his style, and his selection of clothing: smooth and confident. Mixing basketball with fashion is hardly new to the city of Chicago as the former king of the CHI was the pioneer who made basketball and fashion go hand and hand. Rose, with the help of adidas, is looking to bring his new brand into a new era for the city and his fans worldwide. D-Rose recognized MJ as helping to not only influence the fashion sense of the league, but also his own swagger off the court when he told GQ, “[Jordan] did influence my style. Every game he wore a suit, even at a young age.”
6. AMAR’E STOUDEMIRE
Amar’e isn’t adverse to risk-taking. When the Knicks signed the injury-plagued forward to a five-year max deal, they certainly took a chance. However, STAT regularly takes risks with what he wears and has shown the ability to pull it off, with the possible exception of his questionable outfit at Game 5 of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. Not only is Amar’e into looking good but he has, in fact, designed much of his current wardrob. The Knicks resplendent four-man has indeed taken his attempt at sartorial splendor to the next level by giving birth to his own clothing line. He started it with fashion designer Rachel Roy. Stoudemire has even been seen in Milan at the Calvin Klein menswear show. It’s fair to say that Amar’e takes his fashion seriously.
5. CARMELO ANTHONY
Carmelo is not only in the spotlight when it comes to performing at MSG. The power couple that is ‘Melo and LaLa brings a lot of attention to the All-Star forward’s attire. For instance, Anthony was seen swagged out at the 2011 All-Star Weekend in L.A. wearing a dark olive green pea coat that integrated well with a khaki look and paisley tie. Proclaiming Simon Spurr, Thom Browne and Rag & Bone as his favorite brands, it is evident ‘Melo knows his stuff.
4. KOBE BRYANT
The only reason he’s not in the top three is because of this dreadful outfit. Other than that one horrible mistake, Kobe has a knack for sporting the flyest threads, often wearing a skinny tie as his accessory of preference. The man has been featured on the cover of GQ more than once for a reason. While he isn’t trendy by any means, his classic look allows him to stay on top of his fashion game. Keeping it simple for Kobe is what has given him longevity over his 17-year NBA career. This same approach allows him to stay at the top of the league in terms of style as well.
3. CHRIS PAUL
Paul’s swag off the court is impeccable. While currently being hailed as the league’s best point guard, he is, in fact, the league’s best dressed point guard as well. Paul was seen in a recent GQ feature rocking, among other things, a $1,480 sports coat from Etro. The rest of the threads were of a $1,706 value, including his $850 shoes from Ralph Lauren. Add in a belt by J.Crew and a Rolex watch, and CP3 is dressed for stardom.
2. LeBRON JAMES
LeBron may not be the best dressed in the 305. However, outside of Miami Heat Central, all others fade when his “heat is on.” As featured in GQ, LeBron was seen sporting a cashmere suit from Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label that is worth $7,995. Tailored with a $600 shirt and a $215 cashmere tie also from Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label, the NBA Finals MVP is ready to go to work. His love for fashion extends beyond his own attire, as LBJ’s retail clothing store Unknwn is recognized as a “modern lifestyle store with a penchant for discovery.” Never fearing scrutiny, LeBron’s game on the court and in fashion exemplifies balance, coordination and his unique brand of artistry.
1. DWYANE WADE
When it comes to versatility on the court, D-Wade is one of a kind. As a charter member of South Beach’s version of the Dynamic Duo, Wade’s fashion sense posterizes the competition by his use of vibrant colors and unique designs that look simply marvelous.
The South Beach superstar takes his fashion game just as seriously as his game on the hardwood as Gucci has his credit card on file. Wade does not shy away from bright pinks, yellows or reds, and often sports a bow tie with a pair of stylish glasses. The Chi-Town native is all about creating a strong fashion statement by adding pocket squares to his suit jackets, thereby letting the competition know that he is business both on and off the court. Wade gives fans everywhere an additional reason for tuning in to the postgame show. We find ourselves wondering what new combo he will pull off next. Stylistically, he stands alone at the top of the NBA fashion elite.
Who has the best/worst sense of style?
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