Ranking the NBA's Best-Dressed Ballers

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2012

Ranking the NBA's Best-Dressed Ballers

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    In this day and age, some of the most fashion-forward NBA players show off their love for the latest trends. Indeed, NBA stars seem to be more ahead of the fashion curve than ever before.

    Some people lambaste the dress code that David Stern put in place back in 2005, even going as far as to call it a rule with racist undertones. The argument was that Stern was trying to keep out the hip-hop culture and, by association, the prevalent black culture of the day.

    After the Ron Artest melee in Detroit, Stern was afraid for the image of the league, and he deemed that any player not suited up for the game on any given day must be dressed in "business casual" attire.

    Whether you are on the league's side of the argument or the players' side, one thing is for sure: Players have turned into some of the world's best-dressed people.

    It's almost necessary these days for a player to have a personal stylist if he's one of those players who likes to put on a suit and keep up with the fashion trends, turning the league into a runway rather than a stage for professional basketball.

    For those who like to see the fancy suits and the interesting things those stylists come up with using near-limitless resources, here are the 12 best-dressed ballers for you.

Dishonorable Mention: Joakim Noah

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    There aren't many pictures that make me smile every time I see them, which is why I figured I'd give you all a smile with me.

    Nobody had a worse draft-day suit than Joakim Noah, and that hair combined with that smile and the bow tie cemented his place in basketball history.

12. Carmelo Anthony

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    When it comes to being a stylish dude, Carmelo Anthony is very up and down.

    He's well known for wearing funky combinations like this suit, or this light-colored combination with a brown tie, and pulling it off.

    But other times he looks like a disaster.

    Carmelo seems to have tried to embrace a bit of the hipster style but hasn't completely dived in, as shown by his endless amounts of plaid during the lockout.

    I think Carmelo just needs to stick with his strange combinations and keep away from the hipster gear. The awkward combos seem to work with him. Stick with what's working.

11. Dwight Howard

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    Dwight Howard has gone in the direction of many of his superstar buddies in terms of fashion, regularly rocking three-piece suits and wide ties and just looking dapper altogether.

    Where he really stands out is wearing hats, which is something he does better than most other players in the league. Check out this old SportsCenter commercial where he puts on the Superman act.

    It seems that Howard was a bit of a follower in the fashion-forward movement, getting in on it as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade did, but he's still looking pretty cool on a daily basis.

10. Chris Paul

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    In the early days of the NBA dress code, players were strolling around in the baggiest suits I've ever seen. That's why when I see a suit like the one Chris Paul wore that is tailored to a tee, it makes me happy.

    Some of those old baggy suits were cool, but there's no way they could compare to how fly Paul looks with that tight jacket and the tie clip.

    Paul, like Carmelo Anthony, delves a bit into the strange combinations, and I'd say that he's even better at it than Anthony. Hell, he even rocks the plaid better than Anthony.

9. O.J. Mayo

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    Here is O.J. Mayo in a photo shoot the day before he was drafted in 2008. I'd say that he was dressed for the night early.

    Not everyone can take a pink-striped shirt and make it look good with a yellow polka-dot tie, but dammit if Mayo doesn't look like one of the flyest men on the planet in this getup.

    On top of that, he's one of the few players that I've seen with an untucked button-down underneath a sweater vest that I didn't immediately guffaw at.

    Take a look—he looks pretty cool talking to this old lady here.

8. Tony Parker

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    Quite frankly, Tony Parker dresses like you would expect any multimillionaire Frenchman to dress—lots of open collars, plenty of casual jackets and great shiny shoes.

    Here is Parker looking ultra-French in a classic flat cap and a light-tone suit looking as cool as ever.

    Here's another more casual look with some of the coolest sneakers I've ever seen.

    I guess Eva Longoria (sitting to his left) doesn't hurt the image much.

7. Chris Bosh

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    For his birthday last season, Chris Bosh threw himself a birthday party that was described as a "Distinguished Gentleman's Birthday Celebration," where Bosh and everyone involved showed up dressed to the nines...even the cake.

    You have to figure that a dude whose birthday party is dubbed a celebration for distinguished gentlemen has to be a pretty fancy dresser. Plus, all the style that is ingrained in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade has to rub off on the guy at some point.

6. Kobe Bryant

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    One of the things that I've noticed about the way most NBA players dress over the past few years, following in the footsteps of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, is that they deck themselves out as cool as possible in an attempt to maximize their swag.

    That's cool, and they are some of the best-dressed players in this era, but Kobe Bryant doesn't need it.

    When Kobe is in a suit, he's wearing something that would allow him to fit in almost any and all eras. The man is too cool for swag.

    I would say that there are times when Kobe wears a suit and he looks downright...presidential.

5. James Harden

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    There isn't a player in the league that can show off the NBA hipster look quite like James Harden. He's revolutionized the league in terms of fashion.

    You'll rarely ever see a guy pull off a double-breasted jacket without looking like a chef or a ninja.

    Harden seems to wear whatever looks cool to him while not seeming to try too hard, which makes him that much cooler.

4. Derek Fisher

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    As far as I'm concerned, there is nary a sole in the NBA that looks more businesslike in a suit than Derek Fisher.

    Fisher stays away from all of the frills. He puts on a jacket over a shirt, wears a tie and that's it, but he looks good doing it.

    In fact, that blue shirt with the white collar and the conservatively-designed tie is about as radical as Fisher gets, but damn if he doesn't look fly.

3. Ray Allen

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    Ray Allen is the best in the NBA at rocking light colors. I'll stand by that statement all day.

    Here he is wearing two different suits, both light-colored, both looking as cool as the man himself.

    Allen continued rocking the light colors at his wedding and looked cooler than ever.

    On top of that, nobody can wear a bedazzled Ray Allen jersey like his mother, who wears the jersey with flair.

2. LeBron James

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    When people talk about the fashion movement in the NBA (meaning players looking like Don Draper with swagger rather than some dude decked out in gear that makes him look like a wannabe rapper), they usually equate it with LeBron James.

    Let's face it—there aren't many players out there who have the style and look that LeBron has (in fact, if you ask me there's only one dude), and having a personal stylist doesn't hurt.

    Generally, LeBron makes anything look good, whether it be a suit on the cover of GQ, wearing some offset colors and the typical thick-framed glasses or whatever this thing is.

1. Dwyane Wade

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    As far as style goes, nobody in the league can surpass Dwyane Wade. He wears everything so well without looking like he's trying too hard.

    Obviously, anyone can wear a suit and look good, but when Wade goes off from the everyday suit he looks good in the casual suits, the ever-popular plaid, shorts and whatever he's wearing here.

    The Heat have three of the fanciest players in the league, and Dwyane Wade tops them all.