Kuz in classics, Doncic in whatever-that-was: These were the best and worst NBA pre-game outfits this week

Nov 26, 2019

It’s been yet another eventful week in the NBA. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard finally played a game together, against the Celtics — and not only did we get a glimpse of what the Clippers are capable of in their final form, but we also got a thriller that went right down to the wire in OT. Luka Doncic’s star rose higher and higher as he continued to collect triple-doubles like loose change. Carmelo Anthony made his debut with the Trailblazers, Kemba Walker suffered an injury scare, and D’Angelo Russell signed with Li-Ning.

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    Off-court and in the pre-game tunnels, a lot of interesting sartorial things are happening too. Over the past week, we’ve seen some great glides, but also some crash landings. Check ’em:

    ON FIRE

    Kyle Kuzma, before Lakers vs. Hawks

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    No one else in the NBA dresses like Kyle Kuzma. And in a league full of guys trying to step out in the most unique styles, that’s praise of the highest order. Kuz stands out by keeping it simple, and choosing classic looks (solid colors, excellent fabrics, immaculate cuts) over trendy ones. He’s a young gun, but he’s mastered a pretty grown-up way of dressing.

    Jordan Clarkson, before Cavaliers vs. Heat

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    This week, Kelly Oubre Jr. said Jordan Clarkson has the best style in the NBA. And while Clarkson could certainly use a little more consistency, he does have his moments. This is one such moment. We’re not sure which is more impressive: the shorts or the fact that he has Mars Yard Nikes. This outfit just works, and is a great source of inspiration for warm-weather style (like, right now in the PH).

    Kevin Love, before Cavaliers vs. Knicks

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    This isn’t a tunnel walk look, as Kevin Love sat this game out. But he sat courtside in a Ralph Lauren Purple Label suit — gray, pinstripes, double-breasted, peak lapels. Don't forget that white shirt and luxe leather sneakers. It’s a look right out of an Italian fashion show, and Love makes it work.

    Jayson Tatum, before Celtics vs. Clippers

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    Speaking of wearing gray well: Here’s case number two. Jayson Tatum pulled up to Staples Center wearing a totally monotone outfit — that somehow looked like the farthest thing from monotonous. Mix and match your tones, gentlemen.

    Lebron James, before Lakers vs. Grizzlies

    LeBron James’ best outfits are always his most relaxed ones. Here, he’s busted out the classic pullover-under-coach jacket combo, with white Air Force 1s. It’s a run-of-the-mill look that anyone can pull; you don’t even need to be LeBron James to make this look good.

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    Anthony Davis, before Lakers vs. Thunder

    This black Carhartt blouson is the kind of item you would find in a list article of clothes every man must own. It’s such a powerful staple item — as Anthony Davis demonstrates here — that elegantly treads the line between casual and dressy. Go out and get yourself something like it.

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    BIG FAIL

    Montrezl Harrell, before Clippers vs. Hawks

    Now that is excellent Angelica Pickles cosplay.

    Luka Doncic, before Mavericks vs. Cavaliers

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    In the span of about a month, Luka Doncic has proven himself a rising superstar in the league. The guy is straight up dominating, racking up consecutive triple-doubles, and shutting doubters up. Unfortunately, he doesn't bring the same game to his choice of outfits. He’s a known Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fan, but he can’t quite get that whole aesthetic right.

    Dennis Schroder, before Thunder vs. Lakers

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    It really does take a certain kind of guy to pull off all-over prints, and at least in this instance, Dennis Schroder is not that guy. Maaaaybe we’d have let it pass if it were Derrick Rose wearing this rose print.

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, before Clippers vs. Thunder

    We would have probably forgiven Donovan "Spida" Mitchell for wearing a spider web jacket. But Shai Alexander tried it on for size and failed. Maybe it’s the weird jeans and those awkward stacks.

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    Carmelo Anthony, before Trailblazers vs. Bucks

    Melo’s return was largely unremarkable, and his pre-game outfits have only shown his age. He moves like a 35-year-old who hasn’t played in a year because, well, he is a 35-year-old who hasn’t played in a year. But he doesn’t have to dress like it too.

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    PJ Tucker, before Rockets vs. Clippers

    Looking at this outfit, it’s hard not to ask: what the hell is with those jeans? Jordan Clarkson wore them a while back, even if they looked like maong pajamas — which are certainly an article of clothing that should not exist. They threw this whole outfit out of whack, which is a shame, because those 1s match his shirt pretty well. We’re still excited for his imminent sneaker deal, though!

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