A particularly underrated part of the whole NBA experience is seeing players shed their pre-game outfit for their on-court kit. Before they don their team colours, the best (and highest-paid) basketballers in the world take the time to flex before the action with flashy outfits, with luxury brands, rare sneakers and expensive accessories all par for the course.
But just because these athletes can afford expensive clothes doesn’t mean they necessarily know how to wear them well. Money can’t buy style and many players could really do with talking with a stylist – like John Legend’s style guru David Thomas, who outfitted the R&B singer in the world’s most ‘wild’ suit for a Jimmy Kimmel appearance last week.
Russell Westbrook is one man who definitely doesn’t need a stylist, however. The Houston Rockets point guard is consistently one of the most expressive and interesting dressers in American sports, and any well-heeled man looking for some style inspiration ought to add the hardworking Californian to their follows ASAP.
His latest outfit – an 80’s–inspired, punk-ish ensemble he stepped out in before the last Rockets v Lakers game – reveals a blunt truth about wearing summer’s most maligned garment. Namely: don’t wear a muscle tee unless you have muscles (and style). Luckily, Westbrook has both.
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It’s an incredibly cohesive outfit that shows not only does Russ have his finger on the pulse when it comes to modern street style, but he’s got the physique to make what would look ungainly on most other men work sublimely.
His cap and muscle tee / tank top / sleeveless shirt – whatever you want to call it – are both from his own fashion label Honor The Gift. Founded in 2016, Westbrook’s brand focuses on the gritty and summery California streetwear of his youth instead of the high-fashion, runway-ready offerings he often wears before games, according to Boston streetwear darlings Bodega.
He’s also wearing his own signature Converse Chuck 70 Hi sneakers. That’s not a huge surprise: Westbrook has a Nike endorsement (Nike own Converse) and even has his own line of Air Jordan sneakers, uniquely one of the few Jordan athletes to have their own model series. The sneakers haven’t come out yet – they’re set to release on October 2 on Nike SNKRS alongside an Air Jordan 16 as part of a Westbrook-celebrating ‘Why Not?’ pack. They’re a particularly stylish pair of creps that look like a cross between Fear of God and Saint Laurent numbers.
The 2020 NBA playoffs are in full swing, with the NBA finals set for the end of September. Due to The Bat Kiss, the entire playoffs have been held at Walt Disney World in Florida. Westbrook’s Houston Rockets have been eliminated, losing four games to one in the conference semifinals against the LA Lakers. Time will tell who’ll win the finals, but the Lakers are in with a serious chance – I mean, they’ve got LeBron James, so…