NBA Team Swag Rankings

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2013

NBA Team Swag Rankings

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    As the NBA grows into an even larger worldwide power, players and coaches alike are doing their best to look good whenever they're out of uniform. What's been created out of that over the past decade is extremely interesting.

    The NBA adopted a new dress code policy back in 2005 to battle the league's image problem, and it had an extremely intriguing unintended consequence.

    Rather than players figuring out the best way to rock the latest gear, or deck themselves out in pounds of gold around their necks while they're not in uniform, they started turning another form of expression and started to get creative with the new dress code.

    Sure, they're always wearing blazers, "business casual" pants and shoes and limiting the accessories that they have about them, but they're going into a world where one-upsmanship in terms of style has become the norm, and it's become entertaining.

    So with this nature of trying to out-do other players, it only seems fair that we declare a winner. And as the NBA is a team sport, it makes sense that we should sort out the league's most stylish teams.

8. Toronto Raptors

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    The Raptors are a relatively young team, and it's going to be interesting to see who stays and who goes over the summer.

    One thing that the acquisition of Rudy Gay did for them that was possibly unforeseen is Gay put them over the top and into the league's most stylish teams.

    Gay has always been just a step behind the elite-level forwards like LeBron James and Kevin Durant, but he's generally been able to keep up with the two of them when it comes to putting on a suit.

    Add in Kyle Lowry, Terrence Ross and DeMar DeRozan, and you've got four of a starting five that can throw together a nice appearance.

    Going further, they've got Andrea Bargnani, the league's best-dressed Italian (sorry Danilo Gallinari), and Jonas Valanciunas, the NBA's best-dressed Lithuanian-born player since Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

7. Brooklyn Nets

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    The Brooklyn Nets are an interesting case for a few reasons, but mostly because they tend to be clad like a bunch of the best-dressed kids on a college campus. There's not necessarily a ton of overt style, but they look just fine.

    Deron Williams has a constant nice frat-guy look about him as he tends to show up wearing a sweater over a button-down shirt, while Brook Lopez may be the dorkiest guy in the room, but at least he's wearing a suit that fits him.

    Joe Johnson easily tops out their scale, as he tends to be the most successfully daring when it comes to mixing and matching colors, and just putting together a good-looking outfit in general.

    And then there's Kris Humphries. Hump is always dressed well, which I'm sure is a part of the reason he ended up getting married to Kim Kardashian for a few minutes. But he also comes across as the guy who always looks good, but is constantly wearing just a bit too much cologne.

6. Houston Rockets

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    As with any team that suddenly becomes good and is full of young players, you're going to start to notice the appearance of more stylish looks and an out-pouring of attention.

    James Harden started the Houston revolution as he brought his complete NBA hipster look to the Rockets, with the ever-extending (yet clean and stylish) beard, the use of flannel with his suits, and of course the thick-rimmed glasses.

    Jeremy Lin usually tends to be dressed down a bit, but it's always in a way that makes him look as if he went to Harvard, whether it be just a button-down or a sweater.

    Of course, they've also got Chandler Parsons, who could look good wearing a vest made of rat skins. Don't be afraid to admit it, he's just a good-looking dude. It's as simple as that.

    With so many young players on their team, the fashion bug is naturally going to bite. Plus with the added attention from the success, they're going to be forced to put on a better show for the cameras.

    Now all we need is for Royce White to join the team, that way he and Harden can have a full-on hipster-off between each other.

5. Los Angeles Lakers

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    It seems as if it's a necessity that the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks be somewhere atop this list, as they would have been dating back to the days of Clyde Frazier and then Magic Johson.

    While it's easy to make fun of Kobe Bryant for his ridiculous foray into runway fashion, clad completely in white, it's undeniable that he's an incredible dresser. In fact, he may be the best player in the NBA at just wearing a traditional suit.

    Dwight Howard brings along the young guy vibe, following the birth control glasses trend, putting on tight clothing, and looking good despite his tiny head, while Steve Nash brings the stylish old guy factor to the team.

    The Lakers also boast a surprisingly well-dressed (at times) Metta World Peace, who is just built to wear a suit well, and Pau Gasol, who can be a fashionable man despite his constant neck-beard and scraggly hair.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder

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    While the Miami Heat tend to be on the forefront of NBA fashion as far as recognition goes, it's the Oklahoma City Thunder who are the guys taking the risks and throwing a few curve-balls here and there.

    I'm not about to get into the idiotic debate over who started wearing the dorky black-framed glasses first, but Russell Westbrook was definitely among the first NBA players to go with them.

    Aside from that, they've introduced different-colored glasses, backpacks and ridiculous polo shirts to every post-game press conference for the past few seasons.

    Sure, it may have absolutely nothing to do with basketball, but it's fun to see what they're going to do next to one-up the Heat.

    As long as they have Hasheem Thabeet on their team, they're going to have to be reminded that he was drafted out of a retirement home in Boca Raton by the looks of his suit, and they'll always have the stigma of the roughly-clad Kendrick Perkins, but they don't bring the team's overall image down too much.

3. New York Knicks

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    The New York Knicks have a very unique combination of players when it comes to what kind of style they're into.

    New York does have players like Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace who are still a part of yesteryear when it comes to NBA style, but they've also got Iman Shumpert rocking an all-the-rage flat-top

    While they've got your basic NBA fashionistas in Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony who tend to opt for a fancy suit, and even a solid three-piecer here and there, they've also got Tyson Chandler.

    Chandler's style is very--well it's a bit different.

    Pictures of him galavanting about the streets constantly pop up, and we're always seeing him in strange man-capris, swoop-necked shirts, and scarfs that Lenny Kravitz would be proud of.

    He's become a fashionista in the sense that the folks that put together ridiculous outfits for a fashion show would call him a savvy dresser, so it's hard to argue with that.

    The Knicks have their guys who stick out above the rest, but they don't have the style across the board that other teams have.

2. Miami Heat

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    NBA style seems to emanate from Miami, and if it's not the epicenter of fashion for the league, it's definitely the place where styles explode.

    LeBron James remains among the most well-kept superstars in the NBA, as his constant desire to look good led him to hiring a personal stylist so he can be up on every trend.

    Dwyane Wade is always looking to keep up with the young fellows in the league by snapping on a pair of thick-framed glasses and squeezing into a pair of tight pants, giving the Heat a perfect competitor for Russell Westbrook's whacky fashion antics.

    They've got a legitimate trend-setter in Norris Cole, who not only brought the flat-top back to the league, but brought it back for the 21st century. It's not just tall hair like Kid wore in Kid'n'Play, it's gradually faded, cut into, and personalized to be something completely different.

1. Los Angeles Clippers

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    The Los Angeles Clippers have just a few guys who will stick out among the rest of the NBA as incredibly fashionable players, but their team is full of savvy dressers and nobody sticks out for looking ridiculous at any point.

    While they do have the likes Matt Barnes and Ryan Hollins who are going to look ridiculous wearing anything, there are plenty of Clippers players who dress well enough to offset them all.

    Riding atop their list of stylish guys you'll find Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, two of the league's best-dressed.

    Paul and Griffin are ones to take any far-out risks, going a full Tyson Chandler or even a Russell Westbrook at the post-game press conference, but they will consistently show up in a sleek-looking suit, or at the very least a good looking sweater.

    They're also stocked with guys like Grant Hill, who dressed well even before the NBA implemented their dress code, Lamar Odom, who got at least a bit of a positive from those Kardashians, and Eric Bledsoe, who is just one of the many young dudes who know how to rock a suit.