Jun 12, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook during the post game press conference after game one in the 2012 NBA Finals at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder beat the Miami Heat 105-94.
Revenge of the ...
There's really no other way to put it. NBA stars are dressing like nerds these days. The Oklahoma City duo of Russell Westbrook (left) and Kevin Durant are at the forefront of this curious fashion trend, but many others are donning thick-rimmed glasses (sometimes with no lenses) and geeking out once the games end. But when they do it, it's cool, right? Right?!?
Is that Steve Urkel?
No, it's Russell Westbrook after Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. The fishing lure polo shirt and Sally Jessy Raphael glasses ended up getting more attention than Westbrook's 27-point, nine-assist performance in a blowout of the Lakers.
Superman or Clark Kent?
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard rocked this look while coaching the East celebrities in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. His celebrity look-alike (or at least dress-alike) may be Kanye West, who many credit for popularizing the preppy look in hip-hop culture.
Big, black glasses with a plaid shirt buttoned all the way to the top and no tie? That's the trendy look. But that beard? It's all LeBron.
Always in style
Dwyane Wade has been on the cover of GQ magazine, and Esquire twice listed him among the most stylish dressers in the world. So, when he puts on big, dorky black glasses, the whole geek chic thing gets more credibility than if, say, Chris Kaman did it.
Russell Westbrook isn't afraid to use different fabrics in the same shirt. Kevin Durant doesn't hesitate to mix plaids and solids with unusual color combinations. We'll give them this: They're not boring.
The studious look
New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony doesn't really need glasses, but they make him look more thoughtful when he's contemplating a question.
On the court, Jeremy Lin created a sensation with his surprising emergence for the Knicks. Off the court, he still looks like a typical Harvard grad.
Hippie hippie chic
Amar'e Stoudemire's denim vest and fedora may be more hipster than geek chic. The sling isn't a fashion accessory, though. The Knicks star gashed his left hand while hitting the glass case over a fire extinguisher following a playoff loss to the Heat.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook may dress like guys you wouldn't choose first in a pickup game, but they were first and fifth in the NBA in scoring this season.
Red, white and blue
We're not sure what Carmelo Anthony is wearing underneath the jacket. Not sure we want to know. Love the shades, though.
Kevin Durant gives his mother, Wanda Pratt, a kiss following every home game. We're not sure if she still dresses him.
School's in session
Most folks trace the rise of NBA nerd fashion to Kevin Durant, who started wearing outfits like this along with a backpack to every press conference during last year's playoffs. But the seeds of a new look may have come six years ago when NBA commissioner David Stern imposed a dress code forbidding baggy jeans and other elements of hip-hop style popular at the time. So if players couldn't dress urban and didn't want to dress corporate, why not do something totally different?
Raising his game
Russell Westbrook has gone all-out during the playoffs, on and off the court, with each shirt seemingly more outlandish than the last.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks has no problem with his point guard's fashion sense. "He's great looking, he has an incredible body, a great smile," Brooks told the Oklahoman. "Anything, he's going to look good." Of course, not everyone can pull off Westbrook's look. "I have to dress up nice to look decent," Brooks said
Westbrook brought back the red glasses for Game 1 of the NBA Finals and added an inscrutable shirt for the occasion. We're scared to see what else might be in his closet.
Fad or fashion forward?
In 10 years, when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant will each be 33 and presumably still in the NBA, will they still be dressing like this? Or will they look back and say, "What the heck were we wearing?"