The Sparkling Fashion Of The NBA Conference Finals: It’s No Longer Just The Russ Show


Both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals are now three games in apiece, which means the stakes will only get increasingly higher from here; and heated. By heated, of course, I mean the fashion heat being brought by the usual, reliable suspects. In particular, renowned fashion-forward explosion, Russell Westbrook and his devoted podium co-pilot, Kevin Durant.

But those two are no longer the only go-to spectacle in town. As I said, the stakes are high. Everything matters. And that includes choosing between your best velvet top hat and shiny gold watch the size of Shaq’s wingspan, regardless of how often you touched the basketball.

So let’s go ahead and do a graceful swan dive into the elaborate offerings by some of the league’s biggest (and not so big) names.

Remember, all that matters in the fashion game is THE FASHION. The box score doesn’t mean a damn thing. At least for now, it doesn’t.

Draymond Green

Following a somewhat surprising Game 1 loss to OKC, Draymond Green had  the look of a man who had precisely zero concern about being down 1-0. The guy is holding the mic like and seasoned lounge singer and wearing a suit jacket that feature some sort of alligator lapels that would go exceptionally well with a pair of black Jordan 3s. And who’s to say that isn’t what’s happening here? I have great trust that Draymond took the proper footwear route.

LeBron James & Kyrie Irving

LeBron James looks like a disappointed father who was forced to leave work early in order to discuss his unkempt son’s continued misbehavior at school. I’d hate to see what this duo looks like after a loss. But damn, nice suit, Bronnie.

Kevin Durant

No team in the NBA is more determined to see a world draped entirely in denim than the Oklahoma City Thunder. Before this series finds its end, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see Russell Westbrook bouncing around the press room in denim feet pajamas and a train conductor’s hat.

Steph Curry

Perfectly unimpressive after a Game 1 stumble at home. Uninspired performance = Uninspired appearance? That’s a bunch of crap, Steph. Rip up the script and start fresh. We need you to do far, far better. And make it snappy.

Russell Westbrook

While Kevin Durant appears to be reacting to a question with a classic “you for real, dude?” expression, Russell Westbrook seems rather consumed with putting the finishing touches on tying his sleeves into a knot. Because why wouldn’t he be? At this point, Russ is basically KD’s version of Riley Curry at the podium. It’s wonderful.

DeMarre Carroll

Calling it right now: Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll will challenge Iman Shumpert to a walk-off before this series is over. If Carroll chooses to throw a parrot on his shoulder — ideally a set of chatty twin parrots on each shoulder — this one could be over early.

Iman Shumpert

Iman Shumpert is averaging a measly 4.4 PPG so far in the playoffs. However, as of right now, he’s in a neck-and-neck battle with DeMarre Carroll when it comes to “the gold game.” I just wish he wouldn’t look so ashamed for taking the early lead.

DeMar DeRozan & Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry played as tight in Game 1 as he did at the postgame podium. The dude was a mess. You can’t go up there to meet the media looking like you forgot to his ‘save’ on the team’s most important spreadsheet. At least DeMar DeRozan was wise enough to wear a comfortable “blowin’ off some steam” outfit. Live and learn, my friend. Live. And. Learn.

Steve Kerr

My hunch is that we won’t be talking about head coach fashion all that much, but is there anyone more relaxed and at ease with life than Banana Republic aficionado, Steve Kerr? You would think this dude was working at a beach resort based on his affable demeanor and staunch refusal to ever appear rattled.

On that note, Happy Festivus!

Hero? This was said during the Conference Finals, man. You bet your sweet ass he’s a hero.

J.R. Smith

J.R. Smith looks like a busboy after learning he missed three tables that had been vacated for over 20 minutes. We must see improvement here.

Draymond Green

Draymond Green followed Golden State’s Game 2 victory all set to play 18 with Rory and Rickie. And you know what? He pulls it off quite well. I feverishly applaud Draymond’s endless range.

Kevin Durant

There’s a drastic difference between winning and losing in the NBA and, in this particular case, it’s written all over Durant’s face and bland choice of clothing. Throw in a mustard stain or two and we basically have OKC’s version of an unemployed George Costanza.

Stephen Curry & Festus Ezeli

Hey look, check out what winning does! It’s a whole new Steph Curry. A backwards hat that matches the collar of his fitted polo, and the support of Festus Ezeli, who looks like he was plans to guest DJ once the presser concludes. Damn. Russ and KD have to be feeling fashion footsteps after seeing this.

James Johnson

I’ll make this one brief and say I’M GONNA NEED TO BORROW THOSE GLASSES, James.

Iman Shumpert

This one, which we shall call “The Urban Pilgrim,” deserved a couple looks. And yes, what you see at top right is probably Shump’s O-Face. You’re welcome! Oh, and in case you were wondering, he’s winning the hell out of this fashion show.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook is one of the very few athletes on the planet who remains impervious to allowing a playoff loss affect his desire to be digitally dropped into a Michael Jackson video as a backup dancer.

DeMarre Carroll

Game 1’s trouncing didn’t do much to deflate DeMarre Carroll’s vibrant spirit and neither did Game 2. This man is an unstoppable fashion force. All I hear right now is WWE legend The Godfather screaming “Come Aboard the HOOOOOO Train!”

Kevin Love, LeBron & Kyrie Irving

The band got back together after the stars aligned and Cleveland’s “Big Three” all played exceptionally well in Game 2. Two key questions remain, however:

1) Why did Kevin Love wear a striped shirt from the Gap underneath that blazer?

2) Is Kyrie Irving alive?

Steven Adams

Say hello to Thunder center Steven Adams, one of the only people roaming earth who doesn’t have to do much of anything to be considered “fashionable.” I feel like this dude was airlifted from a vicious bar fight in Deadwood and dropped off in Oklahoma City in the hopes of a better life. So far, so good. And so damn scary.

Kyle Lowry & DeMar DeRozan

Kyle Lowry’s inner-monologue: “I’m wearing a sweatshirt with a freakin’ UFO on it. I’m wearing a sweatshirt with a freakin’ UFO on it. I’m wearing a sweatshirt with a…”

DeMar DeRozan’s inner-monologue: “You’re killin’ me duuuuude. We got start splittin’ these things up.”

Kevin Love

The Cavs suffered their first loss of the postseason while Kevin Love experienced his first flawless victory in the form of what was definitely an “Austin 3:16” shirt. Now that’s a colossal improvement over the striped debacle following Game 2, to say the least. We can only hope KevBo later treated himself to a Steve-weiser.

Klay Thompson

Can you take a wild a guess as to what happened in Game 3? Yeah, the Warriors lost by 28 points. Klay looks like a guy who’s ready to trash a hotel room and won’t even allow himself to enjoy it. Kudos on the v-neck, though. Appropriately understated.

Kyle Lowry & Demar Derozan

Reminder: This was following a WIN. While I was almost ready to give up on these two, I do appreciate Lowry’s graduation from the UFO sweatshirt. Quite a leap forward. *Golf Clap*

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant made a poor, confidence-lacking effort in attempting to enter Russell Westbrook’s velvet-roped, specially reserved VIP Fashion section. Jesus, this looks more like a guy who lost a bet. He’d be best served allowing his teammate to powerbomb the world of fashion on his own.

Steph Curry

A 28-point loss sadly meant only Steph and Klay made it to the podium. But I have a more pressing question: Did Curry cut the sleeves off of that sweatshirt? It seems way, waaaaay too premature for him to be modeling his stylings after Bill Belichick; both in years and in rings. Hopefully he lies and says it came that way.

Lebron & J.R. Smith

Take a moment to observe that both of these dudes have sunglasses placed next to them and then feast your eyes on J.R.’s reflective demeanor while doing your best not to be hypnotized by his Cyde Frazier/Golden Girls hybrid of a sweater. I dare you to tell me these two shouldn’t be up there together after each and every playoff game. There’s just so much to take in here. I can’t stop staring at philosopher, J.R. Smith, who’s clearly pondering his next lecture.

DeMarre Carroll

We need the Toronto Raptors to make it to the NBA Finals for the sole purpose of witnessing the continued greatness of DeMarre Carroll, aka The Hamburglar.

Steven Adams

Speaking of the Finals, if OKC ends up coming out of the West, we need an agreement in place that states Steven Adams will wear an outfit to the podium chosen by Kevin Durant and Russ.

Russell Wesbtrook

Following each game, Russell Westbrook has five assistants throw clothes at him all at once. Whatever he catches, he wears. And with that, a genius is born.

Additionally, according to one of my insiders, these are the shoes Russ opted for after the game.

“Sock Sneaker.” At this point, we all have to be rooting for the Thunder, right?


Oh, and yes, this was absolutely necessary.