NBA draftees continue trend of focusing on fashion choices

Thunder pick Jalen Williams incorporates clothing from less popular brands, including companies that promote social-justice issuesGetty Images

NBA players have “made it easy for fans to appreciate their fashion sense,” turning their pregame entrances into “their own version of the Met Gala,” according to Kris Rhim of the N.Y. TIMES. Regarding his outfit at last night’s draft, Thunder pick Jalen Williams said that he tried to “balance being conscious about what he wore while having fun with his style,” because he knew that he would be “judged by his outfits and appearance.” Williams incorporates “clothing from less popular brands into his wardrobe to encourage those who may look up to him to be ‘comfortable in their own skin.'” He said that he also tried to “support small brands and promote social-justice issues through his clothing.” Another Thunder pick, Chet Holmgren, said that in high school, his style “skyrocketed as he turned to resale websites and brands that had clothes in the large-and-tall sizing.” Now, he is “confident” that he is the “most fashionable prospect in this draft class” (N.Y. TIMES, 6/24). In Oklahoma City, Joe Mussatto notes Holmgren wore a “thick, gold chain with two dice dangling from it.” The dice showed three and four, “representing the No. 34 he wore at Gonzaga.” Flashed against his black suit, the dice also had a “second meaning.” Holmgren: “I’m big on betting on myself” (OKLAHOMAN, 6/24).

THAT NO. 1 SPOT: ESPN’s Richard Jefferson said Magic draft pick Paolo Banchero (No. 1 overall) was the best-dressed on NBA Draft night “only because he had all the diamonds” hanging from his suit jacket and pants. But “he’s not going to be able to sit down” (“NBA Today,” ESPN, 6/23). Banchero told ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth they were rhinestones, not diamonds, hanging from his suit. Hubbarth: “It would be a problem if you were walking these streets, you may be missing one or two of those diamonds if those were real” (“NBA Draft Red Carpet Special,” ESPN, 6/23). ESPN’s Jay Bilas said Banchero’s “’Purple Rain’ suit is pretty good” (“NBA Draft,” ESPN, 6/23). 

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NBA Draft fashion in 2003 vs. 2022

— Slam Studios (@slamstudios) June 24, 2022

RUN THE JEWELS: ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins: “In this new generation, ties are out and chains are in. You’ve got to have the drip” (“NBA Draft,” ESPN, 6/23). Spurs pick Blake Wesley said the flashy sneakers he was wearing were Alexander McQueens. ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi: “I do love the suit, by the way, and then you let the sneakers do the talking” (“NBA Draft,” ABC, 6/23). ESPN’s Malika Andrews said Pacers draftee Bennedict Mathurin’s look “might be my favorite suit that I’ve seen all night” (“NBA Draft,” ESPN, 6/23). SI’s Rohan Nadkarni: “I’m begging someone to just wear a normal suit, and it’ll age gracefully” (“Maggie & Perloff,” CBSSN, 6/23). wrote many of last night’s looks were “eye-popping” (6/23). NEWSWEEK’s Ashley Gale: “Attendees aim to dress to impress at each year’s draft, and the NBA Draft 2022 did not disappoint in that department” (, 6/23).


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