The 2013 NBA Draft was probably a thrill for all the grey suit obsessed folks out there (a small but vocal contingent, I’m sure). While it has been enjoyable to question and mock the sartorial choices made by NBA stars these past few years—think of the outfits sported by the likes of Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade—last night’s draft proved why we need basketball players to take fashion risks: otherwise people look DULL. While there were certainly many surprises last night, from Anthony Bennett being picked first to the Cletics/Nets trade that broke Bill Simmons’ heart on live TV, the suit selection was pretty lackluster.
Things are boring when everyone plays it safe, and last night’s draftees looked like they were in a competition to look as homogenous as possible. Nobody wore anything visually offensive, sure, but nobody wore anything outstanding, either. There isn’t a whole lot to analyze when one suit is barely distinguishable from the next. Nit-picking takes the place the critiquing in this scenario; Steven Adams’ tie had a pattern similar to what you’d find on a one-dollar roll of Christmas wrapping paper and Ben McLemore‘s giant, askew, Kansas-colored bow tie didn’t quite look as hip as he probably thought it did. These are just quibbles, though; really, nobody wore anything worthy of full-on derision.
It’s understandable why draftees would want to dress safely. In a world where you can go from relative anonymity to being ripped apart on social media in under ten seconds, appearing on live TV in anything that may potentially invite mockery is an unnecessary risk. The trade-off, though, is losing the opportunity to look unique. However, that isn’t to say certain players didn’t look sharp. Victor Oladipo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope both rocked the hell out of purple and pink shirts, respectively, and added some much-needed vibrancy to the whole affair. Cody Zeller, who will probably be unfairly ripped across the Internet today for being the fourth pick, at least deserves credit for breaking the strangle-hold grey suits had on the evening. Shane Larkin’s teal bow tie was cool, as was Trey Burke’s blinged-out watch. These guys dressed well, sure, but not memorably.
The night wasn’t a total loss of the fashion front, though. The aforementioned Steven Adams had the flag of New Zealand stitched into the inside of his suit jacket, and both McLemore and Nerlens Noel did something similar with their college jerseys. Those were small touches of individuality, sure, but they helped disturb the monotony. The bigger winner, though, was Brazilian big man Lucas Nogueria, who sported a phenomenal afro that had to been seen to be believed. Seeing the cap perched comically atop his hair was certainly the highlight of the evening; at least one player had the courage to look somewhat different.
The 2013 NBA Draft will be remembered for the crazy trades, unexpected picks, and David Stern reaching levels of professional trolling that most people can only dream of achieving. Suits, sadly, won’t be on the list of memories. Oh well, there’s always next year. Andrew Wiggins, the pressure is on!