Author: Kurt Helin

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade credits David Stern’s dress code for improving his style


Few things have been mocked quite like the NBA dress code for players put in by former commissioner David Stern.

Stern had hired a Republican consultant to help make the NBA “more red state friendly.” Which sounded a lot like code for making the game less hip-hop, less urban, and less black. It’s a perception in some quarters that the league has tried to battle since the 1970s but mostly rose above because of the transcendent stardom of Magic Johnson/Larry Bird then Michael Jordan. But with those stars gone and the league transitioning a little, Stern leaned on his new consultant. (If you think that has changed in the league, go read Bruce Levenson’s email again.)

One thing to come out of it: A dress code for players as they showed up for games. Players now had to stick with what you’d call a “business casual” attire: no more baggy jeans and T-shirts. No more hip-hop look. That code is still in place.

Dwyane Wade — now a fashion plate and a guy with his own line of ties — credits the dress code for changing and improving his personal style, something he said in an interview with the Associated Press.

“It was like, `OK, now we got to really dress up and we can’t just throw on a sweat suit,”‘ he said. “Then it became a competition amongst guys and now you really got into it more and you started to really understand the clothes you put on your body, the materials you’re starting to wear, so then you become even more of a fan of it….

“Obviously sometimes we push the envelope, and I think it’s because we’re athletes,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “We’re not looked at as guys who should wear certain things. Being flamboyant is being OK.”

I don’t think you can overestimate the competition part here — professional athletes are competitive at everything. On the court, playing cards on the plane, driving cars, you name it and they try to best each other. Clothing became part of that — “we have to dress up more, so now I’m going to look better than any of you.” Not everyone plays the game (Chris Kaman, we’re looking at you) but plenty do.

That leads to some… let’s say interesting fashion choices at times. But it kind of works for them, in part because they are young and rich. Like a lot of aspects of life, if you wear (or have) something that seems ridiculous on the surface but it was expensive and made by a famed designer then worn by the athletic and attractive, somehow it becomes okay. Even trendy. At least that’s my explanation for what Russell Westbrook or Nick Young pull out fashion wise sometimes — if I wore some of those shirts I’d be up for understandable derision. But on them it kind of works. Same with glasses without glass.

Wade’s style is a little more classic than that, and he’s one of the league’s clothing stars. He’s talked fashion in GQ.

And I guess we can thank Stern for that.

(Hat tip to Mr. Fashion Eric Freeman of Yahoo Sports’ Ball Don’t Lie)

Buy Mark Jackson’s wife’s new single, he’ll personally call you and thank you

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors

Mark Jackson’s wife, Desiree Coleman Jackson, is a singer — she goes by Kadesh and she can do a whole lot more than belt out the national anthem at games (although she’s done that, too).

She’s got a new single out call “Strip.”

What’s interesting is what her husband Mark Jackson — famed NBA point guard turned broadcaster turned Warriors coach turned broadcaster again — is doing to help promote it. (Hat tip to KD at Ball Don’t Lie and Kevin Draper)

He’s not kidding.

You know what I call that? Great marketing.

Jackson is supporting his wife, using his celebrity to get her name out there a little more, and making some fans happy in the process. It’s a win all the way around.

James Harden is visited by the Beard Guru (VIDEO)

2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup - Day Four

I’ve always thought of James Harden as a beard guru, but even the greats need to turn to someone for help at some points.

This is the latest ad from NBA 2K15 (out Oct. 7) in theory promoting their NBA game, but mostly it’s a lot of Harden and a little Anthony Davis. And a lot of the beard guru guy.

Pumped about 2K15 and all the features coming this year.

Nick Young tells Laker rookies to call him “Daddy Swag”

Nick Young

Swaggy P has another nickname.

Swaggy P answers to that nickname or the name his mother calls him, Nick Young.

Unless you’re a rookie on the Lakers — then you have to call him “Daddy Swag.” Yes, that is a little awkward, but it’s part of the “rookie duties” like carrying luggage on the road. Nonetheless the players confirmed it to Lakers reporter and sideline guy Mike Trudel in a video at the Lakers’ Web site. Here’s a transcription of the key parts.

Nick Young: “The rooks know. Y’all gotta ask them what they gotta call me all year. When you talk to them next time, ask Jordan (Clarkson) what he calls me every morning, and ask Julius (Randle) what he calls me every morning… It’s got a little Swag in it.”

Jordan Clarkson: ”We call him scrappy feet. Ugly feet. No, no, he told me to call him Daddy Swag.”

Julius Randle: “I had something different.”

Randle mumbled it a few times, I am not up for hazarding a guess.

Young will help make this an interesting year for the Lakers, coming off the bench behind Kobe with a green light he could be part of a Lakers’ second unit that may be better (or at least more athletic and entertaining) than the starters. Young’s unconscious gunning makes him a fantastic sixth man.

We’ll see if Byron Scott feels the same way.

Report: Timberwolves “optimistic” about Ricky Rubio extension, except nowhere close on money


The early reports were that Ricky Rubio wanted the full five year max dollar extension. We all had a good laugh at that. As we should. I’m a bigger Rubio backer than most and I thought it was funny.

The rumor has been Minnesota offered more along the lines of four years, $43 million, but Rubio’s people want a lot more. The Timberwolves are not going to offer a fifth year, you can only have one of those extensions on the roster at a time and they have Wiggins on the roster now (we’ll see if he earns it, but you hold it for him). This obviously all goes back to how Minnesota screwed up the extension with Kevin Love not giving him a five-year max, but that’s an old story now.

The two sides are talking and while the Wolves may be “optimistic” they don’t sound anywhere close. Darren Wolfson of in Minny spoke with Wolves GM Milt Newton.

I suppose one should never say never, but don’t bet on this deal getting done. Next summer Rubio will be a restricted free agent and unless he suddenly develops a steady jump shot between the World Cup and this season he could find the free agent market about as complicated and unfriendly as Eric Bledsoe has this summer.

Speaking of Bledsoe.

Not happening. And if you’re thinking “why not swap Rubio for Bledsoe?” that makes absolutely no sense for the Suns. None. They are working to keep Goran Dragic why would they bring in Rubio, have to overpay to keep him, then have him take the ball out of Dragic’s hands?