Brodie’s back, Chris Paul falls short: The best and worst NBA pre-game outfits last week

4 days ago

In what continues to be one of the most exciting NBA seasons in recent memory, big things keep happening for the league’s biggest players and rising stars. Luka Doncic keeps squeezing himself into MVP discussions, while James Harden keeps scoring like he has a GameShark for basketball. Over the Lakeshow, LeBron James kept chewing up other teams until the Mavericks came around to snap their 10-game streak. The Clippers keep proving themselves worthy of the hype, most recently with a win against the Wizards that saw four Clips combine for 110 points. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving keeps lashing out at his haters.

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    For the most part, the NBA’s off-court, pre-game style has been just as consistent. Everyone’s stepping out in their best, but most players start to drift into familiar patterns, and everyone’s dressing more and more alike. Here’s who stood out, in good ways and bad.

    ON FIRE:

    Russell Westbrook

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    This is what you get when Russell Westbrook’s big style experiments start to pay off. Face it: In recent weeks, he’s had some real blunders. But when Brodie manages to stick the landing, you get a really unique look: uber-wide trousers cropped exactly at the break over Travis Scott 1s, paired with a simple white tee and a matching cross-body. If wide pants are ever going to happen again, now’s the time.

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    Ben Simmons

    Ben Simmons stays winning, and it looks like the Kardashian curse is broken for good. He just recently hit his first-ever career three, and his outfits have all been solid gold. Showing that the guy knows his covetable menswear, he wears an A.P.C. denim jacket, off the French label’s collaboration with Los Angeles-based collective Brain Dead.

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    LeBron James

    At least as far as this season is concerned, LeBron James’ outfits are never not good. But this one stands out. As if trying to one-up Jayson Tatum’s all-gray-everything outfit last week, LeBron stepped out in a monotone number of his own. This one’s classy, grown-up, and masterfully put together.

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    Chris Paul

    Chris Paul features thrice in this list, so let’s at least start with what he did right. Double-denim is not an easy look to pull off, but here he is, actually managing to look like he knows what he’s doing. He’s thrown on a great brown coat on top and the ‘Facetasm’ Jordan 1 Mids down low, too. For all the shit we’ve given him, we have to hand it to him this time — this is a great outfit.

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    Jaxson Hayes

    You don’t hear the term “statement fleece” a lot, not only because we live in a tropical country, but also because it’s a phrase more likely thrown as a style insult. But here’s Jaxson Hayes of the Pelicans, in a statement fleece that matches his Jordans. It’s not supposed to work, but it does.

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    BIG FAIL:

    Damian Lillard

    This is a tough one to call, because the guy has his kid with him — and there’s really nothing quite as stylish as good fatherhood. Dame gets points for that, so it almost doesn’t matter that he’s thrown a suit jacket over matching mustard sweats. But if we're just going by style alone, the words ”mustard sweats” should be enough to tell you why this outfit doesn’t work.

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    Kyle Kuzma

    Kyle Kuzma is one of the most stylish dudes in the league because no one dresses quite like he does, with a strong sense of personal style. But here, he’s taken it a little too far with the exposed shoulder and the Louis Vuitton man-bag. Broken-in sweaters are great, but this one’s a little extreme.

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    Chris Paul

    Almost, Chris Paul. Almost. But no cigar. As usual, CP3’s trousers are cropped — perhaps his stylist’s effort to make him look taller. But with those socks and Jordan 4s, everything just looks out of proportion. Still, this outfit would have been a “meh” at worst — nothing noteworthy, really — if not for that turtleneck that rumples up around his neck like rolled-up foreskin. Way to ruin a striped sweater.

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    Chris Paul (again!)

    But that isn’t even Chris Paul’s greatest transgression this week! Here he is looking like a kid about to shoot some hoops in the playground. Animal print Jordan 3s, short shorts, a sweater tied around his waist — what an awful sight to behold. It’s a shame, because the T-shirt would have been cool.

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    James Harden

    He’s a walking cheat code on the court, sure, but in the tunnel walk, 'The Beard' is a hit-or-miss. Here’s Harden with the latter: an eccentric jacket-and-jeans combination by Parisian label Carne Bollente. It’s a combination that could work for some people, but not him. It’s a little left of his personality, and that mismatch shows.

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