Worst-Dressed NBA Draft Picks Ever
16. Erick Dampier (No. 10 Pick, 1996)
No one will ever confuse the NBA draft with a Paris runway. As a result of the myriad of fashion disasters we’ve seen each June, here’s the Worst-Dressed NBA Draft Picks Ever.
Fresh off of leading Mississippi State to a surprise 1996 Final Four berth, Dampier was drafted by the Indiana Pacers while sporting an ensemble that, nearly 20 years later, looks painfully dated.
Let’s go from toe to head. There are the checkered pants, worn baggy to the point that they could be mistaken for pajamas. Then there’s a big-shouldered, 3-buttoned fuscia suit jacket paired with one of those dress shirts popular in the 1990s despite resembling something that a priest would wear.
Rather appropriately, Dampier proved to be a bad fit for the Pacers, with whom he lasted just two seasons.
15. Bobby Jackson (No. 23 Pick, 1997)
At first glance it looks like Jackson’s ensemble could be made of denim. Thankfully his style wasn’t that regrettable. Which isn’t to say that it was not regrettable.
We normally draw the line at 3-button suits, yet Jackson went with one that boasts no fewer than six (there’s likely a seventh behind his right hand). On the plus side, having seen how the jacket looks fully buttoned up thanks to Drew Gooden, we’re somewhat happy that Jackson left his suit unbuttoned.
14. Robert Horry (No. 11 Pick, 1992)
At first glance, Big Shot Bob’s draft outfit doesn’t look terrible so much as it looks dated. It’s easy to imagine many folks circa 1992 pairing a loose-fitting, 3-button gray suit jacket with a black, buttoned down shirt.
The moment of abject horror regarding Horry’s ensemble comes when your eyes first catch glimpse of his tie. It’s as if the Houston Rockets started their rookie hazing with Horry from the get-go.
13. LeBron James (No. 1 pick, 2003)
Is it a coincidence that two of LeBron’s nicknames are “The Chosen One” and “King James” and his outfit is a cross between Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty and Eddie Murphy in Holy Man?
“I just think I look pretty good in all white,” said James about his suit that was custom-made by a Charlotte fashion designer. “My guy made it for me and said he’d make the best suit in the draft,” said James. Um, right.
12. Joakim Noah (No. 9 pick, 2007)
Everything you need to know about Noah’s personality and playing style can be summed up by what he wore to the NBA Draft.
It’s all over the place, loud and obnoxious – but it sure stands out. Said Noah: “I thought that the seersucker is a great look even though I got hate for it.” As long as you’re happy, Joakim, that’s all that matters. Even if that means looking like Krusty the Clown.
11. Hasheem Thabeet (No. 2 pick, 2009)
What was a worse choice: Hasheem Thabeet’s self-proclaimed nickname “Hasheem the Dream” or his NBA Draft outfit?
Thabeet showed up at last year’s draft looking like a cross between the Silver Surfer and the Tin Man. Hey, maybe a little oil could help shake the rust off his offensive game. We thought Hasheem was the second coming of Dikembe Mutumbo when he played at UConn. We know we weren’t the only ones. Chris Wallace, we’re looking at you.
10. Steve Nash (No. 15 pick, 1996)
Was it “Bring your child to the NBA Draft day?”
We wouldn’t be surprised if that tie had a clip on in. Nash has come into his own, now one of the coolest and funniest players in the NBA. But the night of the 1996 NBA Draft he wore one of the ugliest ties you will ever see. Hopefully this was put into a shredder as soon as he arrived in Phoenix.
9. Samaki Walker (No. 9 pick, 1996)
Speaking of disastrous all-white looks. Mr. Walker, welcome to the Deion Sanders’ Suit Emporium.
Walker wasn’t able to live up to expectations, especially when you consider he was drafted ahead of a certain Kobe Bryant. I guess Walker fit the part of playa more than player. It’s hard to respect a man in a top hat.
8. Larry Johnson (No. 1 Pick, 1991)
Having spent the final two seasons of his college career in Las Vegas, perhaps Johnson came to admire the sense of style in the outfits worn by the waitstaff and other employees of Sin City’s casinos and resorts. And perhaps he saw fit to pay tribute to that when the Charlotte Hornets selected him No. 1 overall.
Either that or Johnson was a big fan of 1988’s Cocktail.
7. Drew Gooden (No. 4 Pick, 2002)
Gooden’s draft day outfit in 2002 looked to be a gray-toned combination of a suit with a straight jacket. Were there buttons holding the jacket together running along the lapels? Was it velcro? Only Gooden (and whoever designed this ensemble) knows for sure.
Even more comical is how the suit jacket was designed so that, fully buttoned up, it brought to mind Talking Heads lead singer David Byrne.
6. Chuck Person (No. 4 Pick, 1986)
Two years after Hakeem Olajuwon went No. 1 overall wearing a tuxedo, Person showed up to be selected by the Indiana Pacers in similar attire. Only with a few ridiculous modifications.
For starters, the entirety of the Auburn standout’s suit was white - white shirt, white pants and white jacket. He also added a cummerbund to the ensemble, which was (like the bow tie) hot pink. What a shame that no one asked Person to do any magic tricks on draft night.
5. Tim Thomas (No. 7 pick, 1997)
The journeyman out of Villanova never figured out how to fit into the NBA … or his suit. Thomas showed up at the ’97 draft looking liked he stolen Jared from Subway’s old clothes.
Even Shaq couldn’t fit into that suit.
4. Maurice Taylor (No. 14 pick, 1997)
Is that the mascot for Hawaiian Punch? No! It’s Mo Taylor embracing the disastrous teal phase that overtook pro sports in the 1990s.
Perhaps he figured pastels would be pleasing to the minds of Clippers fans who already knew in their hearts he’d be a bust. There is no way you can argue that Taylor’s NBA future was brighter than his suit on draft night. Is it too late to call Mo up and ask him if he will compete in a fashion battle royale with TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager?
3. Terry Cummings (No. 2 pick, 1982)
The second pick in the 1982 draft out of DePaul doesn’t have the ugliest suit on our list – that’s because he didn’t wear a suit at all. He wore jeans. It’s the biggest night of your basketball life and you’re dressed like Arnold from “Diff’rent Strokes”?
There is something very wrong with that. Cummings’ lack of fashion sense didn’t stop him from winning Rookie of the Year honors and he may or may not have become the spokesperson for Wrangler after the draft.
2. Karl Malone (No. 13 pick, 1985)
If Karl Malone ever wants to make children’s books, he could follow in the line of the “Where’s Waldo?” series with “Where did the rest of Karl Malone’s tie go?”
We know you don’t get money as a player until you get drafted but couldn’t his uncle or a friend have let him borrow money or a suit? I haven’t seen pants that tight since John Stockton was playing. Thank God this was before the invention of HD.
1. Jalen Rose (No. 13 pick, 1994)
You knew one of the leaders of the new school in basketball style, a former member of Michigan’s Fab Five, was going to make a splash at the NBA Draft. But we didn’t expect Jalen Rose to raid Suge Knight’s closet. Rose’s brick colored pinstripe suit luckily didn’t serve as a bad omen for his career, but we’re pretty sure you can find that suit pattern for your curtains at Bed Bath & Beyond.
It’s so infamous that it’s become the Sam Bowie of suits, a fashion disaster that is revisited every year at the NBA Draft.
Rose’s take? “Many people think my red pinstriped suit is one of the greatest draft suits of all time — as you look back at it, just remember it was 1994 and the style was definitely different back then. It’s a draft day classic that reappears every year leading up to and on NBA draft day.”
That’s what you call revisionist history. And nice try blaming it on the ’90s, but this suit will never be in style.