The NBA's Best and Worst Dressed

Giancarlo Ferrari-KingFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2014

The NBA's Best and Worst Dressed

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    Let's face it, the NBA is all about fashion.

    Forget all of the heroics, tragedies and triumphs on the hardwood. Getting to see what our favorite athletes rock off the court is what social media was made for.

    When it comes to pro hoops, the fashion spectrum is outrageous. You have guys who dress like Katt Williams, while others embrace the NBA dress code while putting their own twist on the latest trends.

    The question left on everyone's mind is, who are the biggest offenders?

    Let's jump right in and check out some of the NBA's best- and worst-dressed athletes in the game today.

Best: LeBron James

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    LeBron James is the best basketball player on the planet, bar none. He's strong as Iron Man and flies across the court like he's on a Tron bike.

    Aside from his antics on the court, another thing he has done remarkably well since joining the Miami Heat is cultivating his undeniable sense of fashion. 

    The face of the NBA's style now revolves around fitted clothes and subtle patterns. Thankfully, he's come a long way from the days when he rocked an all-white, Steve Harvey-inspired suit.

    (If you want to check out the complete evolution of LeBron's style, Dennis Tang at GQ put together an extensive look back at all things King James.)

    Like most professional athletes, James' outfits aren't only of his choosing. Personal stylist Rachel Johnson explained the process of working with the four-time MVP to MTV News:

    And it goes not only based on things that I bring him, but he comes to me with ideas about new things that he wants to try, new silhouettes, new fabrics, new colors, new designers. He likes to be versatile, he likes to change it up. He likes to wear three-piece suits, and he likes to wear leather sweatpants and t-shirts, too. He likes to continue to evolve, and he likes his style to be a bit unexpected in terms of what he might wear.

    James' focus is not only on hoops. It's also on fashion. And that type of focus makes him one of the league's best-dressed players.

Worst: Paul Pierce

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    If the trend right now is clean-cut, fitted suits, Paul Pierce is one dude who didn't get the memo.

    Pierce's fashion game is slacking. Bulky ties and oversized suit jackets make him look like he either pushes Pontiacs in the offseason or doubles as a substitute teacher.

    Luckily for him, he has an NBA championship and a legendary career that he can fall back on when people start clobbering his wardrobe.

    Still, we'll never forget when SI.com crowned him as one of the NBA's best-dressed players in what quite possibly could have been the worst list ever assembled.

    Quick—someone call LeBron James' stylist and get "The Truth" some help.

Best: Tyson Chandler

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    Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

    Living in New York City exposes you to some of the world's most prevalent fashion trends.

    New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler understands that and has embraced it wholeheartedly.

    Despite playing for a struggling franchise, he has made waves in the fashion world. His style has not only been featured on Vanity Fairbut he was even dubbed "The Slickest Seven-Footer in the Game" by GQ.

    Chandler isn't just one of the sharpest dressers in the NBA. He's also a guy who is looking to forge his own trends.

    Detailing how Chandler thinks, Mark Anthony Green of GQ wrote, "Now Tyson's looking ahead to the next big thing: sweatpants paired with blazers."

    Clearly fashion is one thing this Madison Square Garden alumnus takes very seriously.

Worst: Tim Duncan

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Kids, if you're looking for the way not to dress in 2014, look no farther than San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan.

    For a guy who has been arguably the best power forward to ever lace up a pair of kicks, Duncan dresses like he closed his eyes in a big and tall store and just yelled, "Give me one of everything!"

    It seems like he isn't enamored by the world of couture fashion and recent trends. He's fine with winning NBA championships and proving that no matter how "old" he gets, he can still dominate at his position.

    Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade was once asked on Details.com (h/t Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com) who had the worst style in the NBA.

    He responded by saying:

    Tim Duncan doesn’t care. He will wear a 7X shirt ... (laughing) ... he just doesn’t care. I have a teammate, James Jones, he doesn’t care. He has one polo and one jacket for the year. It’s not the worst style. It’s just their style. (laughing) It’s not mine!

    Maybe Duncan can enact his own brand of sweet revenge on Wade for his comments if the Spurs and Heat meet once again in the NBA Finals.

Best: Kobe Bryant

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    Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant is the polar opposite of Tim Duncan when it comes to style of play on the court and sense of fashion off it.

    Bryant has evolved from an 18-year-old kid rocking oversized jerseys to an NBA icon who sports European, slim-cut suits and Don Draper-like pocket squares.

    Despite all of his fashion wins, he hasn't always made the best decisions when it comes to his taste in clothes. His "white hot" fashion shoot for the Los Angeles Times Magazine is a prime example of that.

    Still, the Black Mamba has earned his stripes to become one of the NBA's best dressed. Farah Averill of AskMen.com said:

    Beyond his obvious talents on the court, however, Kobe Bryant could easily add style icon to his impressive resume. In addition to regularly getting snapped in a varied and fashion-forward wardrobe, the NBA superstar has produced signature lines of shoes for sportswear giants adidas and Nike, collaborations that have combined function with serious style.

    Bryant has helped to introduce the world of high fashion into NBA locker rooms.

Worst: Joakim Noah

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    Fashion has always been the bane of Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah's existence.

    Dating back to the barber shop quartet outfit he wore during the 2007 NBA draft, Noah's sense of style has been questionable at best.

    The 6'11" big man makes a living as one of the NBA's most rugged defenders. I guess that passion for being disruptive also translates over to the threads in his closet.

    Noah's sense of style is so offensive, that even when he tried to look sharp, the NBA actually forced him to go back to the locker room during a game against the Indiana Pacers in 2013.

    Talking to ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell about the incident, Noah said, "That's not really my style. But I want to be out there with my guys."

    Off the court, the struggle is real for the former Florida Gator product.

Best: Chris Paul

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    Chris Paul has embraced the vibe of playing in Los Angeles.

    After finding his way over to the Clippers, he has become a modern day renaissance man. Unseating the Lakers as the city's best team and molding the Clippers into the Lob City was just the start.

    Off the court, Paul has stepped up his fashion game and in the process has earned the right to be called one of the most stylish athletes in professional sports.

    The dynamic point guard was labeled by Jack Deligter of Vanity Fair as one of the NBA's "Ballers in Bow Ties."

    Paul's sense of fashion is unique. It blends modern cuts with a dose of vintage swagger.

    His style is so profound that he was able to nab the cover of GQ back in October 2012.

    From his style off the court to his ability on it, the Clippers are lucky to have a brand ambassador like CP3 on the roster.

Worst: Andrew Bynum

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    Ever since he left the Lakers, Andrew Bynum has become a media magnet for all of the wrong reasons.

    From a fashion point of view, he may be the NBA's worst offender. Though he tries to stick to the league's dress code, the 26-year-old can't catch a break.

    Between his outrageous hair styles and oversized blazers, Bynum looks like Katt Williams on stilts at times when he's on the bench.

    Bynum's NBA career may be tarnished forever. But his infamous fashion sense will be immortalized in the hearts of sports fans across the globe.

    Thank you for all of the memories, Andrew.

Best: Dwyane Wade

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    Jordan Strauss/Associated Press

    Like LeBron James, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade has taken a serious approach when it comes to fashion.

    If you've seen him off the court, you probably understand that his style can be a bit outlandish at times.

    He's run the gamut, rocking flood pants, small leather accessories and an array of sunglasses over his career in South Beach.

    But he's a risk-taker at heart—a risk-taker who more times than not hits on his choices.

    Think of Wade's style as a blend between Miami Vice's Crockett and Tubbs and high-end runway couture. He is so confident in his ability to dress that he went out and dedicated part of his own website to his style.

    On the site, you'll find this gem of a quote:

    Fashion comes and goes. Style is forever. A gentleman is always a trendsetter, not a follower. Wade has been known to be a risk taker with his style, but that is simply another example of how he has every intention to be true to himself. As another gentleman, Oscar De La Renta, has said, 'Fashion is about dressing in what is fashionable. Style is about being true to yourself.'

    Between LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Wade, Miami's Big Three legacy goes beyond championships. It also flows into culture when it comes to their influence on how to take advantage of the league's dress code.

Best and Worst: Russell Westbrook

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    Of all the names on this list, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is the most polarizing.

    Above anything else, he moves to the beat of his own drum. His fashion sense teeters on greatness at times and pure cultural chaos at others.

    Because of that, he's managed to make a major splash in the fashion industry. Steve Marsh of GQ wrote, "A few days later, Westbrook's publicist tells me that within certain rarefied fashion circles, RW is known as 'the Kate Moss of the NBA.'"

    That's an odd comparison, but Westbrook's profusion for style has clearly made an imprint outside of the locker room.

    Sports Illustrated even detailed a ton of Westbrook's looks in a slideshow called "Russell Westbrook: Fashion Icon." 

    His style can't be denied. He is one of the most daring fashion personalities that this league has ever seen.