A look back at the most memorable NBA draft outfits of all time originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The 2022 NBA Draft kicks off Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. While teams and fans will be on the lookout for the next best draft prospect, draft night will also be one of the biggest fashion nights in sports.
Throughout the years, fashion has played an integral part in the NBA. From eclectic tunnel fits to players creating their own snazzy sneakers, fashion has culturally become an important part of the league.
At the NBA drafts, the draft classes are always guaranteed to wear outfits that will give Twitter plenty to talk about. From LeBron James' extremely long all-white ensemble, to Jalen Rose’s iconic red pinstripe suit, draft day fits have often turned heads.
Here's a look back at some of the most eye-popping looks of all time ahead of this year’s draft:
10. Andrew Wiggins, 2014
As the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, Wiggins was sure to make a statement for draft night. Wiggins showed up in a shawl-collared suit with a rose printed jacket and a matching rose inspired lapel pin. The outfit was perfectly accompanied by satin pants and a pair of velvet slippers.
9. Jalen Green, 2021
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Who knew bell bottom pants would make such a triumphant return. Well thanks to Green, they made a dazzling appearance at the 2021 draft.
The 2021 No. 2 pick shined in a sparkling gray Balmain suit, which he said was a “backup plan” to his original look.
8. Cam Thomas, 2021
Thomas decided to take a more personal approach with his draft day suit. The No. 27 pick debuted a custom-made suit that included a mural of Kobe Bryant on the inside lining of the velvet red suit jacket. Thomas shared that growing up Bryant was a huge inspiration to him.
“I loved how he scored and his mentality,” Thomas said. “...It was a no-brainer to gravitate toward someone like that."
7. Tyrese Haliburton, 2020
Haliburton pulled up to the NBA draft in a fashionable floral suit. The former Iowa State guard embroidered "920 To The League'' on one side of the lining of his jacket, which paid homage to his Oshkosh, Wisconsin area code. And on the other side, Haliburton embroidered "Black Lives Matter." It was one of the most powerful fits of the 2020 draft.
6. Samaki Walker, 1996
While Walker isn’t the only player to do a white NBA draft day suit, he may be the only one that doubled down and paired his suit with a matching white fedora. The No. 9 overall pick at the 1996 draft also wore a white snakeskin shirt to put the finishing touch on an outstanding fit.
5. Kelly Oubre Jr., 2015
Oubre made sure that he stood out as he came to the draft in a red suit with a satin finish. However, it wasn’t his suit that turned heads, it was his spiky pair of gold Christian Louboutin loafers.
“...These are definitely dress shoes with extraterrestrial stuff going on,” Oubre said. “…They’re a little out there so I wore them to the draft.” And a little out there they were.
4. Brandon Ingram, 2016
At the 2016 NBA Draft, Ingram showed up on the draft carpet donning a suit that looked like an expensive slab of marble. The former Duke Blue Devil was sure to pair his flashy metallic suit with a tapered pair of black pants and a dazzling diamond encrusted watch piece.
3. LeBron James, 2003
With James being the "Chosen" No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, it made sense that the King separated himself from the oversized suits of his class. James wore a full-white suit and was sure to pair it with a pair of black and white gator shoes. Players from the 2003 class said while the suit looks huge now - to say the least - back then, it was a pretty spiffy fit.
2. Bol Bol, 2019
Bol Bol arrived at the 2019 NBA Draft in one of the most expensive draft-suits on this list, and possibly in draft day history. The Sudanese-American athlete turned heads in a spider-themed suit that was allegedly priced at a whopping $100,000.
“I’m friends with the rapper Young Thug. The brand, which is called Spider, hadn’t come out yet. But we wanted to do something together that would go viral,” Bol said on the spider-themed draft suit.
“That was the plan and it definitely worked.”
1. Jalen Rose, 1994
One of the most popular NBA draft looks throughout the years is Rose’s bright red pin-striped suit. The 1994 13th draft pick was sure that he was heading for the Los Angeles Clippers and wanted to match the team’s red colors, instead he was drafted to the Denver Nuggets.
Rose even broke out his infamous NBA draft suit on ESPN’s Get Up set and gave a backstory on how he chose to make the bold fashion statement that was - clearly - years before its time.