In a recent GQ article called "Inside The NBA's New Style Wars," the magazine listed its All-NBA of Style teams. Of the 10 players to appear on the list, eight come from fashion havens New York, Boston, L.A. and Miami. Oklahoma City garnered the other two.
The first team included Westbrook, Miami's Dwayne Wade and LeBron James, New York's Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. The second team is made up of Durant, the Clippers Chris Paul, Boston's Rajon Rondo, New York's Carmelo Anthony and the Heat's Chris Bosh.
The reasons players such as Durant, Westbrook, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade now grace the covers of fashion magazines is due to the NBA enacting a dress code back in the 2005-06 season. Before then, players would routinely show up to games in sweat suits and T-shirts.
Commissioner David Stern felt the league had an image problem — that it was too “hip-hop.” So he banned items such as jerseys, jeans, hats, do-rags, T-shirts, large jewelry, sneakers and Timberland style boots. These are not allowed to be worn by players to interviews, games, charity events or any other occasion affiliated with the NBA or the NBDL.
Under current NBA dress regulations, if a player does not dress to participate in a game, he must dress in a manner suitable for a coach. In the NBA, a suit or a sport coat is required for coaches. In other words, business casual.
But pro athletes being who they are, they weren’t going to just do the minimum. Players began to show for post game press conference in three-piece suits and designer outfits. It became a best dressed contest.
Since then, the NBA has relaxed on the dress code, as evidenced by Westbrook showing up to a game wearing Capris and a T-shirt. But that hasn’t stopped players from wanting to stand out from the crowd.