NBA players have never been shy about their wardrobe and fashion choices, from the loud, obnoxious-colored suits that were in style (?) in the mid-90s, to the Allen Iverson-inspired street look that drove the image-obsessed league to institute a dress code. And AI was only talking about practice.
And we won't even get into the color palette in Craig Sager's closet.
Now we have new stars and a new movement that some have dubbed nerd-chic, now spotlighted by the Oklahoma City Thunder's young star, Kevin Durant. Never mind that he scored 40 points and pulled down eight rebounds Tuesday night in OKC's 121-112 loss in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals (in a game that the Mavs' Dirk Nowitzki scored 48 points). The focus on what he was wearing, specifically a checkered button-down shirt -- buttoned all the way to the top -- and a backpack, circa fifth grade.
Apparently, Durant has made his backpack his accessory of choice this season, and now that the Thunder have stormed their way into the national consciousness, it has become a topic of conversation. After a victory over the Grizzlies in the previous round, TNT's Charles Barkley even made an unflattering comment on it, and Durant was asked about the contents during an appearance on "Inside the NBA."
"I've got a Mac computer, my game shoes and clothes for the road trip," Durant said before embellishing. "Three pairs of jeans, three shirts, some dress shoes, phone chargers, a basketball, my phones ... I've got three phones.
"Oh, and I've got Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kremes for Chuck."
Which prompted Barkley to retort, "I didn 't hear anything about underwear. That means Kevin Durant is going commando."
Perish that thought. After a recent game, Durant was more low-key when asked about it again during the postgame interview session.
"I've got my iPad, I've got my Bible, my headphones, and my phone chargers."
Not too exciting, but you've got to respect Durant for having the confidence and poise to take the nerd-retro approach to fashion.
And then there was Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook, who sat next to Durant in the interview room wearing a pair of glasses that looked like they came from the Steve Urkel estate. That's another story for another time.