|3rd Annual NBA Draft Fashion Review|
By Dan Shanoff
Page 2 columnist
Forget who went where and when. To many fans, the NBA Draft is the ultimate parade of style hits and misses. For the third year in a row, Page 2 surveys the fashion scene where talent was as top-heavy as it was on the draft board:
Big winner: It seems appropriate that the most hyped draftee in the history of the NBA would come up with one of the most stunning outfits in draft-fashion history. Literally blinding in white like some kind of hoops messiah, LeBron James made his mark on the NBA even before his name was called by David Stern.
With everyone else going conservative, LeBron's choice of white -- suit, shirt, tie, everything -- was even more distinctive, almost as dazzling as the rocks in his earlobes (or that diamond dinner plate on his wrist). The fact that he pulled it off so smoothly is a testament to his -- dare we say -- Jordanesque ability (to wear clothes).
Other winners: Absolutely big time in a platinum six-button jacket, light-yellow shirt and plat tie to match the suit, Carmelo Anthony ran runner-up to LeBron sartorially, much like he did in the draft order. One thing he should have known better: The cardinal rule of podium-approach is to button that suit jacket! 'Melo's top button was the only one fastened, making some fashion analysts think that he may have even done it on purpose ...
Dwyane Wade said Wednesday he'd be going conservative, and he backed it up with the classic navy suit/blue shirt/blue tie, with a twist (see "Families" section, below) ...
Other players split between navy/gray suits (always a good choice): Darko, Collison, Sweetney, Hinrich ... good fashion futures, all, though Kirk could use severe hair maintenance; tan suits (so two years ago, but we won't criticize 19-year-old Chris Bosh, who didn't know any better); and pinstripes (a risk, but it worked for Jarvis Hayes and Reece Gaines).
And the highly coveted "Bar Mitzvah Boy" award goes to: TJ Ford, with the combination of his youthful looks and blue pinstriped ensemble.
Losers: If there is fashion "guilt by association," Zarko Cabarkapa was ruined by his translator, who apparently didn't get the memo that tucking the shirt in is not an optional exercise. (A tie would have been nice, too, for the translator's national TV appearance.) Let's leave it with this, about the translator: "Montenegro chic" won't be sweeping SoHo.
The TV crew
More from the moms: If LeBron's suit was "best in show," does his mom, Gloria, share in that if her own outfit was cut from the same cream Super 140 Italian wool. Well, why not?.
Also setting herself apart was Yvonne Hayes (mother of Jarvis), whose snazzy white and gold jacket covered a simple white top over gray skirt ...
Frieda Bosh defined "conservative chic" with a lovely silver suit.
Leroy Kamen (father of Chris) bucked the suit trend with a gray blazer over blue shirt.
And looking absolutely spectacular was the green room's youngest mom, Siovaughn Wade (wife of Dwyane), in a simple-yet-elegant black cocktail dress, sexy for the occasion but completely tasteful. And someone in the Wade family knows what they are doing with fashion, because toddler Zaire was dressed in a blue-on-blue suit to match his daddy. The draft play of the night!
Front-office fabulous ... or fatal
So thank you, Jerry West, for wearing a suit ... thank you Rod Thorn and Doc Rivers, for wearing nice-looking gray dress shirts ... and thank you, Cavs owner Gordon Gund, for the suit that even included a tie showcasing your team's new maroon and gold color scheme. (Go ahead and slip on that LeBron jersey if you want ... you've earned it.)
And taking the prize for worst outfit: Grizzlies coach Hubie Brown, who -- obviously resting on last draft's kudos on a simple dark suit -- caused my eyes to tear with pain at a Hawaiian shirt with a print that is best described by the fashion-technical term: "looks like ass."
And as for Commissioner Stern, don't think we forgot! Just one question: Was the Cavalier-inspired colors on his tie intentional or just a coincidence? (If he doesn't watch himself, he'll start a new downtown trend: "conspiracy-theory chic!")
Best of the bunch: Barbosa (all Brazilian flair, with the classic navy suit/blue shirt/blue tie combo).
Unfortunately, the Sofa (no, you spell it the long way) -- looked like he grabbed a black slipcover and threw it on over a black T-shirt.
And if you want to go out and get a jump on the hot rookie jerseys, be on the lookout for LeBron's No. 23 Cavs jersey and Carmelo's No. 15 Nuggets jersey (both in nicely redesigned styles), with T.J. Ford's No. 11 Bucks jersey as a sleeper.
Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "Daily Quickie" commentary appears every weekday morning.