We picked up our dry-cleaning 75 days late as the NBA’s regular-season awards were finally dished out this past Monday.
From host Drake shaking hands with prom date Will Ferrell, to Most Valuable Player winner Russell Westbrook thanking his brother in humanizing fashion, the hardware pageant took further steps towards blurring the line between sports and year-round entertainment. Westbrook also captured fan-awarded Game Winner of the Year honors, and Best Style at the expense of Iman Shumpert and Dwayne Wade – the latter inexcusably having $24 million reasons to secure the prestige himself.
The Style category may have been officially addressed on the red carpet apart from the telecast, but its stamp pressed upon the entire evening’s spectacle. Another offspring of popular culture’s moderately elevating ESPYs, basketball’s jovial cast of hardwood-court characters takes these dress-up parties rather seriously. All that was missing was a shirtless LaVar Ball wearing roughly 16 pairs of disregarded sneakers.
Although Mr. Triple Double sealed his record-breaking 2017 campaign with Tom Haverford’s swaggy approval, which snapshot star truly stole the show? I got them red lip, classic top-10 rankings:
10. James Harden
In case Nicki Minaj is reported missing at any point this weekend, you need not look any farther than the confines of Harden’s beard. The butter molds are tucked away in his blazer as well.
Shaq and Co’s necktie networking (along with disc-jockeying versatility) dressed up the otherwise momentum-killing contributions from Mr. Peanut’s gallery. Whoever wrote Drake’s jokes may also consider censoring Kenny and Charles for at least $15/hour.
8. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Bill Russell
Kareem’s bowtie and showmanship led the charge amongst his fellow league ambassadors, while Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Russell filled out the rest of his tux with stellar sass. Dapperness proved to be for men and legends of all ages.
7. Fan Votes
Sometimes the best apparel is availability, and Victor Oladipo stole Dunk of the Year honors from Zach Lavine and Larry Nance Jr. like a burgundy baller. The likes of Steph Curry and Kevin Durant were possibly too busy baking DubCakes to attend.
6. Allen Iverson & Nick Cannon
Two of the most eye-catching cameos of the evening belonged to The Answer and Hipster Drumline. The combined head dressings of BIG3 signee and Celebrity Game catalyst, respectively, have to be a modest start for one decent ensemble somehow.
5. “LeBald” & Isaiah “The Body” Thomas
Drake made sure to accessorize his opening monologue with jabs at the seamless and satirized partnership between basketball and fashion. The every-athletic-man might be able to sport such bare backs and scalps, but we’re not 5-foot-8 all-stars or movie stars (that’s what LeBron is, right?) and therefore shall not judge.
Though not quite Jimmy Kimmel’s status, a highly scrutinized event turned into a triumphant venture thanks to the apparent ease of MC Drake in his clean-cut white threads (among other costume changes). He continues to supplant DeMar DeRozan as the face of the Toronto Raptors.
3. Monty Williams & Craig Sager
Sager Strong indeed has not given up at remaining poignantly relevant throughout this community, and Williams as solely enough of a man underneath the jacket is taste at its finest.
2. Russell Westbrook
Russ compiled his final triple-double of the season with three trophies and those two garb-hogging monocles within an otherwise classy and invaluable statement of an outfit. All of it was thunderously deserved.
1. Draymond Green
Seafoam and shorts…seafoam and shorts…and yet he’s the one kicking people in the cup. Of course, Draymond possesses the only accolade of true importance this month, so all style gaffes are forgiven.
Mike L. // The Guide