Amidst the rising heat and the on-edge anticipation for this year’s NBA Playoffs, we take time off the court to witness the stylish transformations of our favorite hard court stars.
And finally, we’ve come to this point of the year—the heated 2018 NBA Playoffs. The months drumming up to this point was a timeline rife with nail-biting power rankings, standing, and the future matchups we only so anxiously looked forward to. From whatever side of the fence you find yourself in, nothing truly comes close to the energy of the game. It is hard to explain, but boy do we really, really get into it.
With the first round of the playoffs through, we’ve witnessed a ton of upsets and come-from-behind moments (does the Utah vs. OKC series ring any bell?) that shocked all of NBA Nation. But if you think that all the hype and drama only happens on the court, you are obviously not a devotee. Much to the surprise of onlookers, a big part of this excitement transpires off the court, too. And yes, we’re talking about the pre-game fits of the players.
In 2005, the NBA introduced a business casual dress code that completely changed the league’s fashion landscape forever. Today, NBA players are no longer just basketball superstars slash role models—they have fast become fashion figures, too. From the typical athletic threads, the players turned the 2 to 3 minute walk from the team bus to the dugout into a fashion runway with the media capturing the statements that the players try to pull off every night.
By veering away from the usual athletic gear, NBA players of today have raised the bar on pre-game fashion through their sleek dapper suits and street style garb. Here are our top 8 picks for the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs:
8. Paul George
Recently taking his talents to Oklahoma City, claiming a stake as one-third of the OK-3, Paul George earns the 8th rank with his spot-on elevation of the hard-to-master color-matching game.
7. Dwyane Wade
Though he has been going back and forth with Cleveland and Miami this season, D-Wade never fails to hit the pre-game runway with class. This time, he cleans up his style with a should-I-play-golf-first-or-head-straight-to-the-party look.
6. Anthony Davis
All-NBA first team and Pelicans’ superstar, Anthony Davis, rocked the grown-up coat with tattered jeans and a printed top that surprisingly pairs well together.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers (c/o Lebron James)
The Cleveland Cavaliers rolled up to Game 3 against the Indiana Pacers in sleek matching ensembles designed by Thom Browne. Reports claim that Lebron James bought all the suites for his teammates. Whatever the case may be, Lebron and the Cavs really scored big points on style points with this one.
4. Serge Ibaka
Look, sometimes a little adventure goes a long way. The power forward of the Toronto Raptors took the classics for a casual spin by opting for earth-toned version of the tailored and romantic typical. Oh, and the carry-on? We don’t know about you, but we think the girls will surely dig that at the after party.
3. Jimmy Butler
Having trouble matching those expensive J’s with your suit? Minnesota Timberwolves’ star player Jimmy Buttler shows us how to rock it like a modern-day style superstar by pairing it with perfectly fitted tailoring.
2. Kelly Oubre
Kelly Oubre of the Washington Wizards is a modern- day Michael Jackson in this stark black and white outfit. And how can we not appreciate that iconic white socks we thought only MJ could rock? Kelly truly deserves the 2nd seed with this one.
1. Russell Westbrook
This shouldn’t come to no surprise, because after all, Mr. Triple-double is the only man who could pull off this look. Despite the dreadful game-6 loss to the Jazz, you are the champ of this list, Russ.