Ballers and Tiaras: Looking at the ‘fashion’ of round one of the NBA Playoffs

Rohan Nadkarni and Gideon Resnick

With the NBA Playoffs off and running, I called in my good buddy Gideon Resnick to properly judge a small sampling of what we’ve seen so far. Without further ado, here’s what we riffed on this week.

Russell Westbrook: Sleeveless black shirt, gold chain and gold glasses, black rolled-up pants, gold and black shoes

Gideon Resnick: Russell is abandoning the usual thrift-shop-patterned, garish button-downs here in favor of a sleek, black ensemble. He looks like Kanye in the “Run this Town” video, except his pants are flooding worse than Illinois right now. It’s nice to let the ankles breathe but his are hyperventillating.

Rohan Nadkarni: When you see Russ rocking outfits like these, you almost have to wonder if it’s only a matter of time before he tweets something along the lines of asking Drake to commit a violent felony on one of his body parts. The simplicity of the outfit gives Westbrook the look of a young kid who just put his Halloween costume together at the last minute. I haven’t decided if it’s a good or bad thing we can’t see his face in the photo he posted.

LeBron James: Red sweater with light orange foliage

GR: LeBron is a guy a grandma would say “cleans up nice.” He has a rich and varied wardrobe that leads to few fashion faux pas aside from the Instagram softcore shot from a couple weeks ago. This sweater looks like it has some autumnal leaf patterns on it and is a fairly inoffensive addition to LeBron’s press conference attire.

RN: “The Decision” should have a spin-off where every morning we see LeBron look through his closet and decide what to wear. In this Game 1 presser, it looks like King James is getting ready to hold a nice holiday dinner at his house afterward. The outfit is fresher than most of the MVPs’ looks in that it lacks a smattering of leather. You have to imagine ‘Bron has put down more cows than the Atkins’ diet at this point.

Tony Parker: Black dress shirt, no tie

RN: Finally, we have Tony Parker, who went for a sophisticated, simple look with a black dress shirt. Fresh off his divorce from Eva Longoria and an eye injury during the Drake-Chris Brown nightclub brawl, you have to imagine Tony can’t be getting in much trouble in San Antonio with that outfit. Unless, of course, he’s leading some secret, double life with another family who thinks he works a travel-intensive insurance job. Either way, Parker’s outfit is less “you trying to get the pipe?” and more “let’s enjoy this wine and cheese,” or some other French stereotype.

GR: Tony generally thinks he’s too cool for ties. And maybe he is. I think this outfit represents his wanting to keep the chit-chat to a minimum. It’s the same strategy San Antonio has adopted for their gameplay all year. There’s a master control room somewhere in which Emperor Popovich is telling TP how to present himself. And there are no drinks allowed in the control room. The French frog prince keeps it casual so no more rappers mess up his day. Tony looks like Eamon, and without his tie he sounds like him too, telling Eva: “I don’t want you back.