Honestly, if we had to crown a Most Stylish Thing in the NBA this week, it would probably be LeBron James’ slam dunk over the Sacramento Kings’ 6’8” power forward Nemanja Bjelica. Those two points blew the roof off of Staples Center, and have been hailed an early contender for the year’s best dunk, if not only the best of James’ time as a Laker. If Nike is rolling out any “Dunkman” colorways of the LeBron 17 anytime soon, it had better replace the logo with a silhouette of this particular slam.
But of course, we’re talking off-court style here, keeping an eye on the tunnel walks of the NBA to spot some of the best and worst outfits that players stepped out in over the past week.
Ben Simmons, before Sixers vs. Thunder
Simmons is on a roll. Despite the loss to the Thunder, the Sixers star gets points for consistently keeping it simple and tasteful. This outfit isn’t difficult to break down: It’s a shirt, jeans, and Jordan 1s, with just the right level of bling. But the colors and fit just pull everything together.
Karl Anthony Towns, before Timberwolves vs. Spurs
Give it up for the ‘Union’ Jordan 1s this week Ben Simmons rocked them right. Karl Anthony Towns rocked them right. The loud stripes on KAT’s fleece are an advanced style move straight out of Travis Scott’s playbook. With those shoes, this is a style risk that works.
Kevin Love, before Cavaliers vs. Heat
We were not informed that Visvim God and all-around style icon John Mayer had joined the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron James, before Lakers vs. Suns
A subdued forest green sweatshirt over a gray hoodie, pinstripe navy blue bottoms with red accents, and crispy clean Air Force 1s. It’s a combination that works so well and fits the King just right. You almost don’t notice that he’s wearing a trucker hat.
Blake Griffin, before Pistons vs. Timberwolves
Half the league dresses loud, with the specific intention of peacocking. Here’s a grown man outfit by Blake Griffin: denim shirt, big check coat, and a black mini duffle. Nothing’s too tight nor too baggy. It draws little attention to itself, and shines all the more for it.
Kyle Kuzma, before Lakers vs. Raptors
Occasionally, Kuz goes for a bunch of daring sartorial choices — and when he does, it’s a hit-or-miss. But here, he’s keeping it simple with a camp collar shirt, navy trousers, and Puma Suedes. The lesson here is loud and clear: always have basics and staples in your rotation. Not every day needs to be a fashion adventure.
Kemba Walker, before Celtics vs. Warriors
Before the Celts bagged their tenth W in a row, Kemba walked the tunnel in baby blue pants and baby blue shoes. On paper, that sounds like a style slip-up that he’d rather forget. But thanks in part to that statement jacket, which ties everything together perfectly, he pulled it off. Sadly, the Celtics’ streak ended the following day.
Serge Ibaka, before Raptors vs. Clippers
We hate to beat a man when he’s down — in Serge Ibaka’s case, with a sprained right ankle — but by choosing that Louis Vuitton monogram scarf, he brought this on himself. There is such a thing as too much Virgil Abloh, and this is it.
Kelly Oubre Jr., before Suns vs. Lakers
If a fairy godmother appeared at your house and transformed your little sister’s old Lisa Frank notebooks into a biker jacket, Kelly Oubre Jr. would wear it with purple Chucks and try to convince himself that it’s a statement.
Luka Doncic, before Mavericks vs. Raptors
Luka Doncic has been having a hell of a season, but this coat ain’t part of it. The ‘Fearless’ Jordan 1s are great, and pairing them with jeans and a white tee was definitely a good idea. But this trench just threw the whole thing off.
Russell Westbrook, before Rockets vs. Clippers
Beyond just the look of them, those pants have us worried for Brodie’s safety. Any one of those weird drawstrings could catch on an odd hook and — knock on wood — send Russell Westbrook tumbling into an injury. Do the Rockets really want to lose their new acquisition to a pair of pants?
Deandre Jordan, before Nets vs. Suns
The Yeehaw aesthetic has taken over. Thanks to Travis Scott — and, to some extent, Lil Nas X— hip-hop and men’s style have made forays into spaghetti western territory. Here’s Deandre Jordan trying his hand at it, and, well, failing. He probably thought that because they were up against the Suns, he had a license to bring out the guns. That decision, and that hat, cost Jordan a little bit of his dignity.