Month: February 2014


The NBA had a different look on the court last night, Lebron James debuted his mask after recently breaking his nose.

pic Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 5.50.44 PMHere is Lebron’s Instagram that he posted shortly after the gam showing off his mask and the super hero vibe that it gave. 

Although Lebron’s mask is something that has never quite been seen before, masks in general aren’t new on the floor. The masks became memorable starting with Rip Hamilton. 

Rip Hamilton

Rip Hamilton (picture from chatsports)

Hamilton began wearing the mask in ’03 after breaking his nose twice. The clear mask with top and bottom straps.

The clear mask was the main go to look for players to wear when they had a nose injury. However, black masks have become more common, especially for the stars of the league.

Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kyrie Irving

Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kyrie Irving

Both Kobe and Kyrie rocked the black masks in 2012, however all of the makes differ from one another. The main difference from Lebron’s is the detail and the fact that it was made of carbon fiber, which is a lot lighter than the other masks shown.

Masks are solely worn when there is an injury, however they become something else that people can talk about. NBA players aren’t the only ones that have sported the masks.

Tyler Hansbrough

Tyler Hansbrough (picture from chatsports)

Tyler Hansbrough sported the mask after a rough game against major rival, Duke. As seen, Hansbrough is wearing the same design that Rip Hamilton perfected.

The most interesting part about masks is that they are temporary. Players do become superstitious and like to hold onto certain trends, however with the extra heat that the mask brings, it is something that they usually ditch after wearing.


NBA All-Star Audio

Taylor Axelson and Jaylen Souchek join me to discuss the latest fashion trends that hit the hardwood during the NBA All-Star Game last weekend. The All-Star game is a great platform for designers to try something different and to allow athletes to show their personality apart from their team.

Taylor Axelson is a Daily Iowan TV sports reporter. Axelson has worked on ESPN Radio as well as on CBS and FOX sports. She has a high knowledge of sports and the community that is surrounded by them.

Jalyn Souchek has also been a Daily Iowan TV sports reporter for the past two years. Souchek  covers each Iowa basketball home game and is the basketball beat reporter for DI.

nbajerseyThe NBA All-Star

Stephen Curry, Carmelo Anthony, John Wall shoes

Stephen Curry, Carmelo Anthony, John Wall shoes

Football Feature

Although this blog mainly focus on the fashion of basketball, however Mr. Design Junkie displayed his new designs for the NFL and  it was something that needed to be showcased.

The BroBible posted a story this morning with the pictures of each of the football conferences.

















There has been debate all over the web whether these uniforms are “dope or not”. From the debate on Bleacher Report’s article the comments show for the most part that these are not loved by fans. The audience points out that they are “ugly” and “garbage”. The comments sections of sites where overran with negative comments sprinkled with a few positive outlooks or a favorite jersey out of the whole league.

One of the comments on Daily Snark by Steven Shaver said, ” Each team has their own flavor and style for a reason and it keeps it distinct. All of these are in the same style and from an overall composition standpoint is just bad”.

Former Hawkeye tight end, Ray Hamilton said, “Every teams traditional jersey represents a franchise and its roots. These jerseys are just trying to do way too much with the whole modern theme.”

Even though the fans seemed to get riled up about the designs, there is no need to worry because it was just a proposed design that the league isn’t taking on. But that begs the question, what is next for NFL jerseys and how daring will the teams get to change their look as well make their team look unique and standout in a crowd.

Tatted up

Tattoos are a key feature in the appearance of NBA players, and athletes in general. In a basketball uniform these tattoos can be very visible due to the tank top jersey. Tattoos are a visible way that players can showcase their personality.

NBA players are the ones known to have the most tattoos and the
meanings of each of them greatly range.chosen 1 tattoo
Lebron James got this tattoo to portray his “Chosen One” talents,
as one of the greatest players of his time.





However, James is not a player that people would think of when they think of tatted up players. Chris Andersen “bird man” is a player for the Miami Heat and is known for his out of the ordinary appearance on the court. His very colorful tattoos are something that stand out and are easily recognizable.

birdmanlittlebirdmanHere is a picture of a little boy dressed up as Bird Man for halloween, he has sleeves to replicate the tattoos of Bird Man.





Another NBA player that is covered in ink is J.R. Smith. As seen in this picture, Smith is covered with tattoos, leaving little room for any more.

JR SmithSmith had around 70 tattoos “before I lost count.”  Smith actually said about tattoos that he “hated them” when he was younger, and told himself “he would never get like this.” (As stated on:

Even a handful of our own Iowa Hawkeyes are inked up. Aaron White, Anthony Clemmens, Kyle Denning, Josh Oglesby, Melsahn Basabe, and Devyn Marble all sport the ink. The Daily Iowan did a cover of senior, Devyn Marble’s favorite tattoos.

Tattoos range from person to person and can either be meaningful to the person or something that they simply liked as proven by Marble.

NBA sleeves

Classic pictures of the NBA with short shorts, tank jerseys, and tube socks are something of the past. One addition to the uniforms are the sleeve.


The sleeve is somewhat of a fashion statement, but also practical. The sleeve became popularized in the NBA in 2000 when Allen Iverson had elbow bursitis. The sleeve provides compression for the injured area, which can help keep muscles warm as well as reduce any possible swelling. Also, as can see on Hibbert’s (shown above) sleeve there is padding on his elbow. There are also leg sleeves that have padding on the knees, as well as compression shorts that have padding on the hips and thighs. The research hasn’t fully showed beneficial results, however the “placebo effect” is in play for the sleeve. Players at the NBA level will feed into any superstition that can assist them to play better, especially if it is a fashion statement as well.

If you turn on any NBA game, you will find multiple sleeves on the court. The NBA doesn’t allow full length-tights, so this is a way that players can get around the strict NBA guidelines. It may be a fashion statement or a crutch to lean on for the aches and pains, but one thing that is for sure is that the players love them.  The sleeve isn’t as prominent in the NCAA, because athletes are given equipment by the athletic training staff when necessary. Having a uniformed look on the court as a collegiate team is something that is more important to those with in the big leagues. With high income and more flexibility, the professional players are more likely to be showing off their sleeved limbs, and we have Iverson to thank for that.


History on the Hardwood

Before we start dissecting the comparison of the NBA and college ball, we need to see how far the uniforms have come.

Since the era of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, the uniforms looked and fit differently than they do now. The short shorts and sleeveless shirts were a staple trend in the 80’s. Although the hems may have grown, the colors and creativity has faded.


For example, the old-school Denver Nuggets jersey  is filled with up to five colors and shapes to draw the eye to the uniform.

nuggets new

In comparison to the 21st century Denver Nuggets jersey, that has two colors and a simple franchise name.

Basketball fan, Chelsea Holt said, “In the 80’s the logos and color schemes told a story and created a picture for each team.” That is not the case today, when you turn on the TV, it is difficult to tell which teams are playing due to the limited colors and simplistic design. The teams and uniforms have begun to blend together.

Although the colors are something that people may miss, there is one thing that the players are glad that are gone.


“No more short shorts,” said Hawkeye Aaron White.

Longer shorts became a major trend in the early 90’s, when the Fab Five popularized the idea.  The Fab Five were a group of five players at the University of Iowa in the early 90’s. They trended the idea of baggy shorts and black socks, and from that point on the hem lengths have stayed around the knee.

This change was also relevant in the women’s side.

womens bball

This is a view of a women’s typical uniform in the early era. As you can see the hemlines are short and there is a lot of skin shown.


Here is a picture of the Iowa women’s basketball team, where the hemlines have lengthened and the amount of skin showing is limited.

Even though the uniforms have changed, each person wears them in their own way. “Some wear them baggier and some wear them more fit, which I don’t think was the case in the 80’s,” said avid fan, Mitch Plimmer.

The unique style that the 21st century players abide to, brings character to their simplistic uniforms. With the desire for connection with these high society athletes, it is an interesting way to see a player’s personality in the way that they are “balled up”. With the history out of the way, we will start to cover the trends that make each athlete their own.

Swag Kings

As mentioned before, there is a high desire to see what people are wearing especially in the professional sporting industry. With the high desire to see what people are wearing, there is a high outcome of opinions and comments on the outfits as well.

Russell Westbrook has taken the crown for trying new things, and in the past couple years the trends have started to flood the NBA teams. Kevin Durant, Amar’e Stoudemire, Lebron James and Dwyane Wade are names that we are used to hearing on SportsCenter or seeing in the latest SportsIllustrated, but now we are hearing about them on E! Network or seeing them in the front rows at Fashion Week.

Major fashion magazines, such as GQ, have started to pay attention to these celebrities. GQ wrote an article about the top names in the NBA as players and as fashion icons. There is also a blog that streams pictures of the latest outfits that NBA players are sporting. These “swag kings” are making name in the fashion industry purely for their street attire, and with the NBA in full swing, and fashion week recently ending there will be many opportunities to catch the latest trends that are hitting the runway and the locker rooms.

There is a constant competition of who can get the best look, but sometimes best doesn’t mean the most fashionable but the most talked about. The outlandish trends as well as the classic styles will help the players keep their competitive edge off the court.



NBA players always have a keen eye set on them. Every move they make is scrutinized whether that is by the shot they put up, or drank. However, in this decade there is more attention on what these players are doing off of the court, and even more so, what they are wearing.

The word “swag” has become the word to define the fashion sense of players on and off the hardwood. A player’s “swag” can be based off of their uniform, by scrutinizing them from head to toe. Whether it’s their shoe, socks, shorts, uniform, undershirt, tattoos, etc., all of these are factors into what can help determine a player’s “swag”.

Another way swag is determined is by the way that players dress in what they call, street clothes. Street clothes are the basic clothing people can wear, but they are usually anything but basic. NBA players in particular, have a way of shocking the crowd with their street clothes. Russell Westbrook has noted a “fashion icon” for his over the top fashion trends and legendary glasses (with no lenses) . Players, like Russell Westbrook, have the chance to show their swag during post game interviews.

The Bleacher Report, a sports journalism website, has a specific section to their website called “Swagger” . It takes notes on things out of the norm that athletes are doing, as well as their outfits. The Bleacher Report app has a swag alert that will update you when something happens in the sports world that has a sense of swag.