The NBA Draft is a night for budding prospects to finally realize their lifelong dreams – you’d think they’d be dressed appropriately.
But as you’re about to see, perhaps the future collective bargaining agreement should include a pre-draft consultation from a “what not to wear” crew. As we await the next draft night fashion disaster, we bring you our Top 10 Worst Dressed List. Put your shades on. It might get bright in here. - Adam Sweeney
10. LeBron James (No. 1 pick, 2003 Draft) Is it a coincidence that two of LeBron’s nicknames are “The Chosen One” and “King James” and his outfit is a cross between Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty and Eddie Murphy in Holy Man? “I just think I look pretty good in all white,” said James about his suit that was custom-made by a Charlotte fashion designer. “My guy made it for me and said he’d make the best suit in the draft,” said James. Let’s hope that guy isn’t involved with LeBron’s free agency.
9. Samaki Walker (No. 9 pick, 1996 Draft) Speaking of disastrous all-white looks. Mr. Walker, welcome to the Deion Sanders’ Suit Emporium. Walker wasn’t able to live up to expectations, especially when you consider he was drafted ahead of a certain Kobe Bryant. I guess Walker fit the part of playa more than player. It’s hard to respect a man in a top hat.
8. Joakim Noah (No. 9 pick, 2007 Draft) Everything you need to know about Noah’s personality and playing style can be summed up by what he wore to the NBA Draft. It’s all over the place, loud and obnoxious – but it sure stands out. Said Noah: “I thought that the seersucker is a great look even though I got hate for it.” As long as you’re happy, Joakim, that’s all that matters. Even if that means looking like Krusty the Clown.
7. Hasheem Thabeet (No. 2 pick, 2009 Draft) What was a worse choice: Hasheem Thabeet’s self-proclaimed nickname “Hasheem the Dream” or his NBA Draft outfit? Thabeet showed up at last year’s draft looking like a cross between the Silver Surfer and the Tin Man. Hey, maybe a little oil could help shake the rust off his offensive game. We thought Hasheem was the second coming of Dikembe Mutumbo when he played at UConn. We know we weren’t the only ones. Chris Wallace, we’re looking at you.
6. Steve Nash (No. 15 pick, 1996 Draft) Was it “Bring your child to the NBA Draft day?” We wouldn’t be surprised if that tie had a clip on in. Nash has come into his own, now one of the coolest and funniest players in the NBA. But the night of the 1996 NBA Draft he wore one of the ugliest ties you will ever see. Hopefully this was put into a shredder as soon as he arrived in Phoenix.
5. Tim Thomas (No. 7 pick, 1997 Draft) The journeyman out of Villanova never figured out how to fit into the NBA … or his suit. Thomas showed up at the ’97 draft looking liked he stolen Jared from Subway’s old clothes. Even Shaq couldn’t fit into that suit.
4. Maurice Taylor (No. 14 pick, 1997 Draft) Is that the mascot for Hawaiian Punch? No! It’s Mo Taylor embracing the disastrous teal phase that overtook pro sports in the 1990s. Perhaps he figured pastels would be pleasing to the minds of Clippers fans who already knew in their hearts he’d be a bust. There is no way you can argue that Taylor’s NBA future was brighter than his suit on draft night. Is it too late to call Mo up and ask him if he will compete in a fashion battle royale with TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager?
3. Terry Cummings (No. 2 pick, 1982 Draft) The second pick in the 1982 draft out of DePaul doesn’t have the ugliest suit on our list – that’s because he didn’t wear a suit at all. He wore jeans. It’s the biggest night of your basketball life and you’re dressed like Arnold from “Diff’rent Strokes”? There is something very wrong with that. Cummings’ lack of fashion sense didn’t stop him from winning Rookie of the Year honors and he may or may not have become the spokesperson for Wrangler after the draft.
2. Karl Malone (No. 13 pick, 1985 Draft) If Karl Malone ever wants to make children’s books, he could follow in the line of the “Where’s Waldo?” series with “Where did the rest of Karl Malone’s tie go?” We know you don’t get money as a player until you get drafted but couldn’t his uncle or a friend have let him borrow money or a suit? I haven’t seen pants that tight since John Stockton was playing. Thank God this was before the invention of HD.'
1. Jalen Rose (No. 13 pick, 1994 Draft) You knew one of the leaders of the new school in basketball style, a former member of Michigan’s Fab Five, was going to make a splash at the NBA Draft. But we didn’t expect Jalen Rose to raid Suge Knight’s closet. Rose’s brick colored pinstripe suit luckily didn’t serve as a bad omen for his career, but we’re pretty sure you can find that suit pattern for your curtains at Bed Bath & Beyond.
It’s so infamous that it’s become the Sam Bowie of suits, a fashion disaster that is revisited every year at the NBA Draft.
Rose’s take? “Many people think my red pinstriped suit is one of the greatest draft suits of all time — as you look back at it, just remember it was 1994 and the style was definitely different back then. It’s a draft day classic that reappears every year leading up to and on NBA draft day.”
That’s what you call revisionist history. And nice try blaming it on the ’90s, but this suit will never be in style.