Observe a player’s outfits for long enough and patterns start to emerge, and their personal style becomes clear.
Ben Simmons and Kevin Love, for instance, are among the league’s classicists. Their outfits, often built around classic outerwear and subdued colors, don’t push too many boundaries, but belong to a particular, grown-up sensibility.
LeBron James is also something of a classicist himself, but isn’t afraid to go the Russell Westbrook route every once in awhile. Kyle Kuzma, like Westbrook, likes to go with the trends, but in a way that’s more conscious about fit than flourish.
In this week’s best and worst pregame fits, you can see all their quirks on display — plus, a lot of long coats, some pretty unfortunate T-shirts, and one perfect leather jacket.
Ben Simmons, before Sixers vs. Lakers
There comes a time in every style-conscious man’s life in which he asks himself: “Can I pull off a leather jacket?” The answer to that question depends on how closely you can get to this Ben Simmons fit.
LeBron James, before Lakers vs. Knicks
Matching colors within an outfit always puts you at risk of looking ridiculous, like you thought way too hard about it. But get it right and you stand to look like this — effortlessly in sync.
Chris Paul, before Thunder vs. Rockets
Chris Paul gets a lot of well-deserved smoke for his outfits and his utterly confounding taste in clothes. But here’s credit where it’s due: CP3 gets it right here, with an occasion-appropriate T-shirt for Dr. Martin Luther King Day, and black trousers with Black Cat Jordan 4s.
Kyle Kuzma, before Lakers vs. Celtics
Twice this week, Kyle Kuzma channeled some serious K-Pop idol vibes with a high-neck sweater. Here, as he faced the Celtics, he pulled it off, thanks to the coat and the Goyard briefcase. Simple, slim, sleek — a counterpoint to his usual wider fits, but proof that he can do both.
Kevin Love, before Cavaliers vs. Wizards
You’d think that the varsity jacket is the biggest flex in this outfit, but really, it’s the fact that Kevin Love pulled off brown-on-brown. UCLA may not be an Ivy League school, but this definitely has some modern Ivy League vibes about it.
Kyle Kuzma, before Lakers vs. Knicks
Here’s the second instance of Mr. High School Musical dressing like he’s about to dance “Boy With Luv”. But the pants and the shoes look like mall-variety goods for dudes who still have their skinny jeans from 2011, and then of course, there’s that hideous jacket.
PJ Tucker, before Rockets vs. Nuggets
January is a seriously weird time to be cosplaying as Georgie from It.
Luka Doncic, before Mavericks vs. Clippers
Doncic has all the makings of a superstar — he may even be the future of the whole damn league — but the guy has the style of a benchwarmer. That T-shirt looks like something you’d wear to the mall.
Meyers Leonard, before Heat vs. Clippers
We’ll give this lesser Leonard one thing: This sun’s-out-guns-out shirt is Miami-appropriate. But professional athletes can’t be showing up to work dressed like he’s about to smash a couple of tequila bombs and take unsolicited selfies with strangers.
Grant Williams, before Celtics vs. Magic
In this Celtics IG album, the striped pocket tee of Gordan Hayward (first pic) is certainly a little dated, but it’s mostly inoffensive. Grant Williams (last pic), on the other hand, is an altogether different conundrum.