The NBA Draft speaks to sports fans and media on a number of levels. While many eagerly wait to find out which player will get drafted to which team, more and more the focus is shifting to those fashion-conscious players who have as much swagger off-court as they do on-court.

Draft night is when players finally have an opportunity to showcase their personal style and make a statement about who they are when they’re not playing ball. Whereas some players like Wesley Johnson are risk takers, others prefer to stay under the radar with simple ensembles. For those not afraid to make a statement, the walk onto stage to shake David Stern’s hand is like a strut down a catwalk.

And as much as we hate to admit it because he’s been hogging a lot of the spotlight recently, nobody did it as well as the number two Draft pick, Evan Turner. Appropriately, he dressed for his new team, the 76ers in classic grey, white & red. Like most draftees, he kept his style cool and simple in a two-piece suit. We like this look most because of its seemingly effortless Esquiere attitude.

Our second favourite and the number one Draft pick was John Wall. His black pinstriped fitted suit was sleek and sexy. On its own, the suit is not much to brag about but coupled with a blue striped shirt and tie you’ve got a sharp looking man with an attitude. Almost makes us want to do the John Wall dance.

Starkly contrasting is Wesley Johnson; the player with the busiest style by far. Some might argue that he had too much going on between the patterned red tie, long jacket and plaid pants. Perhaps it was tacky and mismatched and although it’s not our style, there’s something exceptionally charming about Johnson and his tartan pants. The yellow dress shirt is a whole other story.

Last but not least is Ed Davis, the newest addition to our very own Toronto Raptors. Ok so he doesn’t have a passport and technically can’t even come into Canada yet but we forgive him because he’s got that timeless American-dream style about him. Looking like a model right out of GQ Magazine, Davis’ multi-tonal grey ensemble flawlessly accented his brand new Raptors cap.

And as always, along with out favourites were misses as well. Epke Udoh and Greg Munroe stood out the most. There was nothing bold and memorable about their looks and in fact, the suits unflatteringly hung off their large frames. But we can’t deny a humbling smile when we see one and Epke Udoh has won us over.

Also what was with Al-Farouq Aminu’s “prescription” glasses? To be honest, they look like protective gear you would wear on a squash court, not the NBA Draft.

But we get it. Some players simply don’t stress about style. They focus their energy entirely on their game and we don’t blame them; emotions are flying high the days leading up to Draft night. It’s all about drafting the biggest talent, the most infectious personalities and the players with the most potential. That’s a whole lot for a 19 year-old to deal with.

When asked if he felt any added pressure being the consensus No. 1 pick John Wall says, “I feel like I had pressure since I became No. 1 in high school…It’s been an emotional experience.”

Going from college basketball to the NBA comes with all kinds of responsibilities. Players begin to think about endorsement deals, making the right decisions off-court and training hard enough to live up to the hype.

Patrick Patterson who was drafted by the Houston Rockets describes the experience to “I’m shaking on the inside. I’m trying to be calm, act cool but I’m so nervous inside. I’m definitely enjoying this. It’s a blessing and I’m so happy.”
And as always, with hard work come perks. Patterson’s plans for his first professional pay check? “I gotta get my mom and dad something. That’s the first thing. Then eventually a Lamborghini but I ain’t ready for that yet.”

It will be interesting to see not only how the players develop their technical game over the next year but also how their off-court style evolves from amateur to pro-basketball.


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