NBA Nerds Snub Street Wear for Geek Chic

NBA Playoffs Invaded by Nerd Fashion; LeBron, Dwyane and Durant Lead the Way

LeBron James

NBA commissioner David Stern once believed that professional basketball players needed to have rules on how to dress. In the early 2000s, most NBA players followed Allen Iverson’s lead by gravitating toward the hip-hop culture. Players began sporting corn rows, wearing long white T-shirts, throwback jerseys, baggy pants and Timberland boots to press conferences and on road trips. It was black youth culture personified for the nation to see within a billion-dollar professional league.

During that time, rap was outselling every music genre and the NBA profited mightily from the close association with the art form. Similar to rap, the NBA had become the coolest sport in America. However, Stern, afraid that white corporate sponsors would be afraid of black ball players dressed like rappers, decided to implement a dress code for the entire NBA.

A few players were upset and some even believed that the move was racist. But it’s obvious that the NBA players weren’t going to risk their million-dollar lifestyles for the right to dress like Snoop Dogg. They conformed and the era of “Geek Chic” was born.

Click continue to see five reasons the NBA’s LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are now more likely to resemble the style of Steve Urkel than Lil Wayne. –amir shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.


  • Titania
    May 26, 2012

    This is exactly what we’ve been needing for decades (centuries?). No more stupid thug fashions. YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. It’s a new millenium, folks. A new age. Stratifications will soon be a thing of the past – and thank you, NBA players and President Obama, for spearheading it.

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