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The aesthetic evolution of the NBA Draft

Stylistic excursion among the best and worst outfits ever

The aesthetic evolution of the NBA Draft Stylistic excursion among the best and worst outfits ever

Tray Patterson of The New Yorker defines the style of the NBA Draft participants as the true "cultural barometer of tailoring". And going back almost half a century, it's impossible to blame him. One of the first and most important events of the NBA season will be staged tonight, via videoconference - just like the latest NFL digital draft - and therefore not with great fanfare like in recent years, where the Barclays Center in Brooklyn was transformed into a huge stage. for young talents ready to switch between the pros.

It's a "cultural barometer" because aesthetics and style brought to a stage of this media importance generate trends and new fashions, which in most cases arouses more laughter than real interest. In recent years, however, there has been a clear switch, with the new generation of talents who are much more attentive to trends and do not want to pierce the first of many shows. David Stern - the commissioner who made the Draft a global event - changed the rules of the game, especially in commercial terms. The whole world has its eyes on that stage and no one wants to deface it in terms of style.


80s | From Magic, Bird and Michael to the audacity of Chuck Person

From the innate elegance of Earvin "Magic" Johnson to the first stylistic disasters, especially that of Chuck Person, called in 1986 by the Pacers with pick #4 and who showed up on the most important night of his career with an unsuitable fluorescent smoking. Great sobriety for the rest, with some high notes played by Isiah Thomas and Vlade Divac, European by birth, growing up, but nowhere near in style. Michael Jordan's outfit dates back to the day he signed with the Bulls, with the great work of mom Deloris in the service of Mike's elegance.


90s | The era of impossible ties

If the switch from soft colors to gaudy colors was not enough (with Jalen Rose who must like red), the ties complete a picture that in the 90s became extreme for the trends of the time. From Gary Payton to Kobe Bryant, passing through great thinkers and passers-by like Nash and Kidd, up to the aliens who answer to the name of Vince Carter and Kevin Garnett: everyone chooses impossible ties. A step above all, however, is Samaki Walker, choice of the Dallas Mavericks and as a new Texan player decides to show up with a bowler hat that would look better on the head of Christoph Waltz or Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained.

The 90s were the best in NBA history, even stylistically. But only on court, with shirts that have made history. But jerseys and dresses go in completely opposite directions.


2000s | The point of no return

The 2003 class is considered the best on court and the worst on the night LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh became professional players. That evening the boundary between normal and abnormal, between aesthetic and unaesthetic became invisible, with LeBron's total white - but with gator shoes that will haunt him for the rest of his days - and the tailored cuts of Carmelo, Gooden, Howard, Delon Wright (to whom it is impossible to apply the concept of oversize). The only positive notes, proudly Italian, are the clothes of Bargnani in 2006 and Gallinari in 2008. For the rest, it is a point of no return.


10s | New generation

From King James' total white to Zion Williamson's ivory dress, the step is short, even 16 years later. Refinement is not related to the younger ones, but certainly the evolution is positive compared to the lowest point of the previous decade. Refinement and new trends - such as the lining of the jackets sewn with messages, logos and symbols - but also the first collaborations between fashion brands and players.