Style Through The Tunnels: The NBA’s Most Stylish Players

Although they have been linked for years, sports and fashion are starting to become synonymous, almost like fashion and music, which have always been close cousins. The NBA is the pinnacle for basketball fans globally, and with that comes a legion of fans who want to see what their favourite hoop star is wearing, but if we're being honest, for a long time, there really wasn't anything thrilling to look at.
by LYNN MONGAMELI May 11, 2022

Although they have been linked for years, sports and fashion are starting to become synonymous, almost like fashion and music, which have always been close cousins. The NBA is the pinnacle for basketball fans globally, and with that comes a legion of fans who want to see what their favourite hoop star is wearing, but if we’re being honest, for a long time, there really wasn’t anything thrilling to look at. Until recently, fashion for professional basketball players only went as far as oversized jumbo suits and alligator shoes – look at Lebron James’ 2003 draft outfit if you don’t believe me. However, a new generation of stars have brought the NBA a long way. 

Thanks to players like Allen Iverson, who revolutionised the league with his rough around the edges hip-hop inspired style. Iverson was the first player to rock cornrows, tattoos, durags and baggy jeans to games, forcing the NBA office to put out a notice requiring players to dress ‘professionally.’ It would be a while before anyone would be looking to the NBA for style inspiration. However, in today’s NBA, being stylish has become the order of the day. The tunnel has become a runway, and the pregame fit is almost as important as how well you play. As a sign of how much things have changed in the league, nearly every player has a stylist now because you simply cannot afford to miss your fits. 

So here are the NBA’s most stylish players – in no particular order:

Bol Bol 

Yet to be a household name, Bol Bol is the son of former NBA great Manute Bol. Standing at a staggering height of 7 feet and 2 inches, the South Sudanese-American player has a natural eye for style. Attending the 2019 draft in a custom Off-White™ suit paired with Off-White x Nike Air Force One’s, Bol effectively put his contemporaries and the league on notice with this look. A quick google search will reveal that the 4th year player for the Orlando Magic is as stylish as he is tall – often seen in brands like Alyx, Off-White™, Rick Owens and Gallery Dept. 

Kyle Kuzma 

If we’re being totally honest, Kyle Kuzma would not make this list a few years ago, but since acquiring the knowledge of image consultant and stylist, Toreno, Kuzma has come leaps and bounds. Kyle Kuzma now hangs with the best of them, with wild fits that straddle the line between streetwear and luxury fashion. 

Kelly Oubre Jr

Unless you’re an avid basketball follower, you may not have heard of Kelly Oubre Jr, but if there’s one thing to know about the Charlotte Hornet’s forward, it’s that he serves fits – plain and simple. One of the young leaders of the NBA style craze, Oubre Jr is no stranger to being posted on IG platforms like league fits. From the tree of Allen Iverson, Kelly Oubre Jr has an authentic and unique style and has even debuted his own fashion line at New York Fashion Week. 

Russell Westbrook 

The Godfather of League Fits, Russell Westbrook picked up where Allen Iverson left off. It’s not a stretch to say Russell Westbrook may be the most stylish person in professional basketball. Whether it’s bare-chested looks or crazy colour combos with funky silhouettes, Russell Westbrook pushes the envelope every single time. A staple at Paris Fashion Week, the Brodie’s no boundaries take on fashion and style has inspired the league. But with great risk sometimes comes great misses, and Russ has had some howlers, but that comes with the territory when pushing the fashion envelope. 

Shai Gilegeous- Alexander 

Shai is a trailblazer. As consistent with style as he is on the court, the OKC star rarely misses when it comes to fits, and the fashion world has taken notice. Up there with the best of them, Shai is a regular at fashion weeks and has even attended fashion’s most prestigious event, the Met Gala. Nailing looks that you wouldn’t expect from a basketball player, Shai Gilegeous-Alexander will no doubt be one of basketball’s fashion icons in the years to come. 

Jordan Clarkson 

With a distinctive personal style, it would be difficult to mistake Utah Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson for anyone else. Able to pull off any look, whether it’s Thom Browne skirts or Grunge inspired Louis Vuitton looks, Clarkson is slowly but surely proving himself as a fashion savant. Flexing his affinity for style, Jordan Clarkson is at the forefront of a new generation of NBA stars keeping their Instagrams chock full of expressive and well put together looks. 

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