Community star Danny Pudi directed this fascinating ESPN short about Marquette University’s basketball unconventional basketball uniforms. It’s called “Untucked,” in honor of the jersey you see above - which was designed to be worn outside of the trunks. Designed, in fact, by one of Marquette’s players, an art major named Bo Ellis. It’s a great look not just at sports uniforms, but at the relationship between clothing and culture.
Apparently NBA players are bitching about having sleeved jerseys, but the NBA is keeping them because they sell extremely well. I’ll tell you why they’re selling well: Because for any fan, the basketball jersey is, by far, the hardest jersey to pull off. It takes a lot of confidence to walk out into the world with bare shoulders and your [luscious] pit hair sticking out and repulsing everyone. NBA players look great in sleeveless jerseys because NBA players are world class athletes. The rest of us are not. You get really self-conscious really quickly when you’re standing there in a basketball jersey. You are already halfway to playing for the skins team, and playing for the skins team is TERRIFYING. If I’m an NBA fan and I have a choice between rocking the beater or a sleeved jersey, I’m going sleeves every time. It’s not even close.
Image: The Spurs’ Tony Parker looking salty in a sleeved jersey.
“I talked to my team before the playoffs, and my message to them was simple: ‘Keep a fresh cut.’ You want to make sure your haircut looks good, because when we continue to do what we’ve talked about doing, the media room will be filled, articles will be written and people will be talking about you. You don’t want to look back on it, like I look back at some of my old playoff moments, and wonder why I didn’t visit the barbershop.”— Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson on the increased attention the team’s been getting.
I loved this short film about Walt Frazier’s style. If you don’t know, Frazier wears some of the most outrageous clothes in the world - he’s famous for making suits from upholstery fabric. He even owns (and wears) one with a cow spot pattern. Despite his outrageousness, though, he always looks great. Of course his broad, charming smile helps. And the fact that he’s a genuine basketball legend.
An aside: the short’s directed by Nelson George. Not only is George the author of one of the most important books about soul music, The Death of Rhythm & Blues, he also provided hand claps on an unalloyed hip-hop classic, Kurtis Blow’s The Breaks, and co-wrote CB4. You gotta admit, that’s quite a resume.
Jordan Peele of Key & Peele nails NBA style in the brilliant, hilarious “You Can Fly!” sketch.
I got a kick out of this San Francisco Chronicle retrospective on the style of basketball legend Rick Barry, from his preppy days through an extended neck scarf period through till today’s elderly mountain gentleman (?) aesthetic. Some good, some truly horrible, a lot of interesting.
Speaking of my conversation with the Wall Street Journal, here’s the whole interview on their sports blog. In it, I discuss college basketball coach outfits like the nightmare above, which I think Bob Huggins may have purchased from one of those “Two Suits! Two Shirts! Two Ties! Two Belts! Two Shoes! Two Hundred Dollars!” stores. (To be fair, it’s also possible he stole it from Willie Stargell.)
Ben Cohen of the Wall Street Journal was nice enough to give me a call and ask me some questions about how coaches should dress for March Madness. Ben also spoke with Glenn O’Brien, GQ’s Style Guy, so I’m proud to be in such august company.
"Suit looks great MJ! And hey… I’ve been thinking… you should grow a cool Hitler mustache thing!”