2016 NBA Draft-Day Suits: Grades for Best and Worst Draft-Day Attire
You've studied the mock drafts, heard that Ben Simmons will be selected No. 1 or planned your Resentment Day party because your team traded away all its picks. So what's left? Public judgment of hopeful young men at their most vulnerable moment.
So here goes!
A few ground rules.
A player wins a point for gear that makes a nod to the team he played for. Yet if one gambles by donning the colors of the team he hopes will draft him and gets it right, it's an automatic B-plus or higher, even if the player otherwise looks like Russell Westbrook on his worst day.
Take the gamble and end up badly clashing colors that prove you fell way further down the ranks than you expected...that's a grade lost, even if you look like an old-school Walt Clyde Frazier.
With fashion, as in basketball, smoothness, flash and risk-taking are celebrated as long as they are not taken too far.
No. 1 Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons could have showed up in his boxer shorts and it wouldn't have damaged his draft status, but he went the safe route: safe but not boring.
The vest is an excellent choice. The gold tie is also a fine move, but he missed an opportunity by not bothering to match the pocket square.
Also, being the one player who knew beyond the shadow of a doubt he would be selected by the Philadelphia 76ers, he could have tossed a flash of blue or red into that ensemble. It might have warmed the hearts of Philly fans who thought he didn't want to come there.
No. 2 Brandon Ingram
First impression: Is there a professional snake-wrestling league in Texas?
Because this would be the perfect suit for that league's draft day. The pattern just stretches Ingram's skinny body out and makes him look scrawnier. The neck chain is peculiar but probably more appropriate than a tie would have been.
Second impression: This outfit just proves Ingram will fit in perfectly with the current Los Angeles Lakers lineup.
No. 3 Jaylen Brown
Jaylen Brown pulled off a strong color with a confident smile, and he really didn't need anything else.
But how long will he stay in Boston, considering ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported the Celtics tried to trade the pick several times? He may be smiling his way to a different city.
No. 4 Dragan Bender
Though he received an underwhelming response from the crowd, the Phoenix Suns' new Croatian draftee, Dragan Bender, should have gotten a better reception for both his game and his gear.
Although the slim gray jacket and white shirt is a safe move, the dark cobalt blue pants spiced this up considerably. Points off, though, for the sloppily stuffed pocket square.
No. 5 Kris Dunn
With the tearful words, "Shout-out to J.C. Penney," Kris Dunn just won.
Oh, and the kicks are Gucci. He mentioned those too. As well he should, considering they are the sparkliest things on earth.
As if that weren't enough, Dunn represented his hometown high school team inside of his J.C. Penney suit.
Although Dunn might have wanted to go a spot or two higher, he should be happy with the Minnesota Timberwolves alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and under the tutelage of Tom Thibodeau, who will appreciate a point guard with his blazing athleticism.
No. 6 Buddy Hield
Some people use the inside of their jackets to write tributes to fallen friends. Buddy Hield used it to write his own nickname, Buddy Buckets.
New Orleans Pelicans fans had better hope the shooting skills that earned Hield the moniker weren't left back in Oklahoma.
With that dangerous misstep aside, Hield looked good. The white jacket and thick black lapel worked. The red bow tie and slim red pocket square capped off the look.
No. 7 Jamal Murray
Slick, like Jamal Murray sliding to the rim.
The lapel pin gave just a little flourish to that sleek tuxedo jacket. A modern yet classic look. Couldn't go wrong.
No. 8 Marquese Chriss
I admit to a personal weakness for velvet, but Marquese Chriss pulls off both the bold fabric and the bold color. (Is there a hint of a bell sleeve there? If there is, he pulls it off.)
He gets extra points for having a similar look to his teammate, Dejounte Murray.
No. 9 Jakob Poeltl
Jakob Poeltl is an exciting choice for the Toronto Raptors, which could be worried about losing big man Bismack Biyombo in free agency, but this suit is not an exciting choice for anyone.
Poeltl looks like he's going to a job interview to be a graphic designer at a company that doesn't pay very well.
No. 10 Thon Maker
A pattern on a pattern is a mighty struggle...Some win. Others don't.
I'm calling Thon Maker's a draw, though.
The only reason Maker gets away with the plaid on the pindot pattern is because a hint of red is in the tie that goes with his suit. The subtlety is both infuriating and impressive.
No. 11 Domantas Sabonis
Domantas Sabonis learned the game from his father, bruising former NBA center Arvydas Sabonis, but the chain on that pin looks like a gift from his grandmother—one of her gray hairs.
The chain is too delicate for a man who will be playing shoulder-to-shoulder with Steven Adams. (Sabonis was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder after he was drafted by the Orlando Magic and switched hats to prove it.)
Aside from that one tiny misstep, Sabonis looked perfect. Tie straight, jacket and watch sharp and powerful.
12. Taurean Prince
I don't entirely know what these shoes are all about, but I'm all about them.
No socks, red soles and covered in spikes? Yes. Yes to all of that. If the spikes were slightly longer and more dangerous, that would be even better.
Clean, basic black tuxedo jacket and shiny black buttons on the shirt; red bow tie discreetly matching with the soles of the shoes: flawless. Prince would have earned at least a B for the suit alone (and extra points for that saucy answer to a question about being out-rebounded by Yale in March).
The shoes earn him top marks.
13. Georgios Papagiannis
Georgios Papagiannis takes a calculated risk with treating us to that much cobalt blue.
It works, but a contrasting tie would have been easier on the eyes. (Conversely, had the entire ensemble been head-to-toe orange for the Phoenix Suns, I would have awarded him an A+ even if it burned holes through the television screen while he was headed to the Sacramento Kings instead.)
The slim suit and narrow tie flatter his slender form. Papagiannis also gets a point for repping Greece with his lapel pin.
14. Denzel Valentine
Denzel Valentine's socks are everything. Not just to his outfit; to my life.
At first glance you might think he's wearing cartoon Karl-Anthony Towns on his ankles (or De La Soul, if you're old like me), but in fact Valentine is wearing pictures of himself. (Baller.)
They are Michigan State socks showing him in his Spartan uniform. The highly shined shoes make sure you notice.
The interlocking woven pattern on the tuxedo jacket is gorgeous, but I do wish the color contrasted more with the black of the pants.
15. Juan Hernangomez
Juan Hernangomez comes so close with this dark charcoal tuxedo jacket, which has a classic super-spy look without biting directly off 007.
The polka dot bow tie, however, is a loser. A cheeky wink to the audience requires polka dots that aren't just a grim shade of gray.
Hernangomez's brother Willy was drafted, then Euro-stashed by the New York Knicks in Real Madrid. Juan may want to stash the bow tie there.
Other than that, his look was on point when his pocket square was properly folded and tucked.
16. Guerschon Yabursele
If you're going to be the surprise mystery pick that causes fans to scream in agony "Who?! Who is that?!" then you'd better look spectacular. Guerschon Yabusele looked neat, but fell short of spectacular.
The standard navy suit and striped tie is perfect for your first day at the State Department of Civil Engineering. In his defense, Yabusele told reporters he had no idea he would be selected so high and could not have expected to have his garments so keenly judged.