On NBA Suits and Joakim Noah
Today was pre-NBA draft media day, which involved 12 NBA prospects sitting around tables while surrounded by dozens of non-prospects, such as me, plus a few thousand members of the Chinese media. People who have done this before told me that there were violently more media persons this year, making the whole thing especially useless. Joakim Noah walked into the hotel ballroom and saw the masses and then stopped walking.
"Hold on," he said. "I've got to take a picture with my phone."
Although he wasn't a credentialed media member, and really shouldn't have been permitted to take photos. Anyhow, as a precursor to tomorrow's fashion show, the players were all wearing nicely tailored, pleasantly colored, formal outfits today. Except for Noah, who was in white sneakers, long plaid shorts and a white t-shirt. It was a fancy white t-shirt, but still.
An NBA spokesman had a quiet word with Noah after the session, reminding him of the league's dress code.
"Did I get fined already?" Noah asked, which made me laugh, if nothing else.
(Henry Abbott from True Hoop noted, correctly, that we'd all have been better served blogging from Starbucks than sitting through that mess, and I will say that the above line was the only thing I got out of the day, although I did get to watch Fox Sports columnist Peter Schrager conduct an interview with WTEM's John Thompson Show from the street outside a mid-town Chipotle.)
As for Noah's shorts, I wasn't the only one to notice.
"Why you let Joakim dress like that?" Jeff Green asked Corey Brewer outside a bank of elevators. "You and Al [Horford] are all classed out."
But regardless, two of the standard questions to the prospects (aside from "are you excited?") were "who should be the No. 1 pick?" and "what are you wearing tomorrow night?" I heard a few answers to the former (Acie Law IV said Oden should unquestionably be No. 1, as did Kevin Durant, while Joakim Noah said he should be the top pick himself) and a whole lot of non-answers to the latter.
The Fourth Acie said his outfit was a 10 out of 10, but when pressed for details he said "you'll see it tomorrow." Brewer said he's got "something smooth," but wouldn't discuss it further, although he did tell me that Rodney Stuckey was the best-dressed Green Roomer. Stuckey said he has "something nice" for tomorrow, and told me it was pink, but he seemed to be joking about the color. Spencer Hawes, who didn't get the memo about not revealing the slightest details, told me he has "a little blue ensemble," and that he "wouldn't wear it if I wasn't going to look good."
Greg Oden's mob was impenetrable, but Noah had a few things to say, clothing wise.
"My grandfather came in from west Africa, from Cameroon, and just got his suit made, so he's gonna be looking funky," Noah promised. Someone asked about his own choices.
"Oh, wait till you see what I have," he said. "Funky with a capital F. No hints, no hints. Tomorrow man, tomorrow."
Also, Noah said tonight he's "gonna get a crispy shape-up," which I guess is some sort of facial grooming thing. And Durant lit up when asked about his outfit, but kept quiet.
"I'm gonna let that be a secret, a surprise until Thursday," he said. "Once you see it, you're gonna be like 'Dang, I didn't know you could do something like that."
But his mom laughed and shrugged off the suggestion that this would be a suit to remember.
"You don't have to stretch your imagination too far," she assured me.
The culture of secrecy is maddening. So in the spirit of full disclosure, I have brown pants and a blue striped shirt picked out for tomorrow. True Hoop's Henry Abbott has a navy blue shirt and "mud-colored" pants. Camille Powell has Banana Republic tan capri pants, a button-down black shirt and sandals; "I think I may have worn it to the Final Four" she said of her outfit. And Michael Lee has a brown suit with a blue shirt and a brown tie.
"I'd like to think it'll be all right," he said. "I don't try to half-step."
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