With the first round of the NBA Playoffs not even complete, there have already been many compelling storylines in this season’s playoffs. Who doesn’t love the Thunder shocking the Los Angeles Lakers by making it a series, Brandon Roy’s stunning comeback from knee surgery, the Utah Jazz’ impressive resilience, Joakim Noah’s phenomenal anti-Cleveland rants or Bango the Buck? However, there is but one playoff storyline that has truly captured my attention.
I blame Carmelo Anthony. Each game night, it was a new cardigan-in white, baby blue and even a vague Easter Egg color. (No yellow, unfortunately.) Though my favorite is the one below that, combined with some slick pink pants and a blue tie, also coordinates with the team bus.
(Alright, Carmelo, let’s talk. I defend you a lot to all the ‘Melo detractors. But I absolutely cannot think of any possible justification for those pink pants. What on earth were you thinking? How did you not think twice when you saw that your stylist had bought you pink pants? This looks sharp. Pink slacks look like you’re auditioning for Miami Vice. That is not a compliment. If you want to wear “statement” pants, try these.)
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against cardigans — in fact, I own nearly as many cardigans as I do hoodies. They’re snuggly and warm and great when you’re sitting by the fire on a cold winter’s night. However, they do have a distinctive Won’t You Be My Neighbor? look. A look that works for a nerdy writer holed up in her house behind a computer screen, and that is rather incongruous with an extremely tall, young elite athlete such as ‘Melo.
Really, if you’re trying to step up the intensity for the playoff atmosphere, where does arriving at the game or conducting your post-game press press conference in a heavy (albeit surely designer), cabled or ribbed cardigan fit with that image?
If this phenomenon were isolated to only Carmelo, I’d take it with a grain of salt. This is the Denver Nuggets we’re talking about. They’re one carful of popcorn away from a massive implosion of egos, tempers and neurosis. If their star player wearing a grandpa cardigan to the playoff games helps keep their delicate collection of personalities feeling more comfortable and nurtured, who am I to question it?
Except, upon further examination, it’s not just ‘Melo — cardigans have been an epidemic in this year’s NBA post-season. As someone said to me recently, most young guys work really hard to not look like their grandpas, so in the world of the NBA while stylists abound and everyone is image-conscious, imagine my surprise when Lebron James showed up at the post-game press conference after eliminating the bulls in this gem.
[Image: via @bullsblogger on twitter]
Yes, it’s a cardigan-with elbow patches. And customized with his initials, like a 1950s letterman’s sweater. Apparently, Lebron James, upon winning their Cavs’ first round series, was awarded a letter in, well, being Lebron James. (Since we can now award ourselves letters, I think I’ll trade in my old high school band letter for a letter in snarkiness. I’m better at sarcasm than I ever was at the flute anyway.)
But it doesn’t stop. I missed several games one evening because I have, you know, other things to do aside from watching Eastern Conference playoff games, and several people had alerted me to NBA players suspected of cardigan abuse. Even Jason Richardson was spotted wearing a cardigan following the Suns’ game four defeat to Portland. (Shout-out to my mom, who is all over Cardigan Watch 2010, for catching that one.) I kind of figure, once Jason Richardson adopts the trend, it’s pretty much ubiquitous. Clearly, this is the must-follow story of the 2010 NBA playoffs.
Random Style Blips – Playoffs Fashion Edition
I am so glad that LaMarcus Aldridge busted out his fanciest oversized polo shirt for the press conference following his best-ever playoff performance. Though, at least it’s not the spiffy beige one Channing Frye wore following his playoff career scoring high. This is why you have to keep a jacket — or at least a cardigan — in your locker: you never know when you might score a career high and actually have to be part of the playoffs post-game press conference.
Did Shaq, Lebron and Jamario join Mo Williams at the karaoke bar for his rendition of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or was it a solo performance? I cannot imagine any other reason why the Cavs’ point guard would be wearing that jacket/costume. (And Joakim says there’s nothing to do in Cleveland!)
This is quite possibly the most horrific suit ever worn on an NBA bench. It’s shiny, pinstriped and pretty much a disaster in every way. No wonder the Nuggets have tuned out Adrian Dantley…
* Muchas gracias to one of my favorite twitter peeps, @starrylkj for giving my NBA cardigan obsession a proper name, Cardigan Watch 2010 — it was much better than my original name, Cardipalooza ’10.
Sarah Moon is a Portland-based writer and Trail Blazers fan who spends way too much time contemplating the style hits and misses of NBA players. She also holds out hope that one day Channing Frye will triumphantly return to Portland – and run for Mayor. Follow Sarah’s thoughts on basketball, life in Portland and other random musings and rants on Twitter.
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