By Dan Shanoff
Page 2

Forget who went where and when. To real fans, the NBA draft is the ultimate parade of style hits and misses. For the sixth year in a row, Page 2 surveys the fashion scene where talent was as spread out as it was on the draft board:

The Players

Tyrus Thomas
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It never hurts to dress to impress. Thomas is our No.1 fashion pick.

BIG WINNER: TYRUS THOMAS. He ended up the No. 4 pick on the board, but he finishes No. 1 on the draft fashion hit list. The Bulls' future looks as bright as Thomas' dazzling ensemble.

Despite entering the draft after his redshirt freshman year at LSU, Thomas displayed the colors of a proud alum: Flashy purple tie, smart-looking purple sweater-vest and a pinstriped suit to keep it all together (did I catch a glimpse of purple in the piping?)

At the beginning of the broadcast, Thomas called himself "Superman." After his display tonight, if his game matches his draft-night fashion, the label is right on.

Runner-Up: He may be headed to a mess in Portland, but Brandon Roy cleaned up with an against-the-grain brown pinstriped suit with a tan shirt.

Following Roy's lead, earth tones were a hot look: Memphis' Rodney Carney had on a lighter tan suit that earned rave reviews and certainly stood out in a sea of dark blue, black and gray (but Carney's suit was a little too light for my tastes).

He-Made-It-Work Award: The most controversial look undoubtedly went to Jazz draftee Ronnie Brewer, who took the biggest risk of the night in an electrifying sky-blue suit. Did he make it work? I think so: I'd like to think it was a homage to the NBA when his father played 25 years ago.

Ronnie Brewer
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Ronnie Brewer knows how to show his true colors

Awk-Ward! Award: Both J.J. Redick and Adam Morrison played it safe in conservative dark suits. (But was it me, or did the BFFs wear the same tie to the draft? Check your TiVo, like I did: Even if they weren't the exact same, they were close enough to be a little creepy.)

Alma Mater Awards: As with Thomas, nothing says spirit like flashing a bit of school colors. LaMarcus Aldridge wore a burnt orange tie (and brought a special Texas draft hat for David Stern).

Nationalism Award: Nothing was particularly impressive about Blazers' pick Joel Freeland's black suit, but he stood out when he gave David Stern a red England soccer jersey to hold up, which the Commish playfully did.

Second-Round Award: It's always worth a mention when a player sits in the stands with the hoi polloi waiting for a second-round call that may never come. Kudos to Vlad Veremeenko (brown-olive suit) and Damir Markota (gray suit, blue shirt, blue tie -- loosened, and why not? He was the second-to-last pick of the night).

Best Tie (Player): It might have been a reach for Patrick O'Bryant to go ninth, but his gorgeous, shiny, pastel-striped tie said "Ready for the pros!"

Finally, the highly coveted annual "Bar Mitzvah Boy" award goes to: No. 7 overall pick Randy Foye, who not only wore the traditional "BMB" blue suit, but drew raves for his talents and sympathy for his back story.

Did you see his on-screen draft profile, when it listed who he said he would most like to meet? His parents. My wife nearly broke into tears. That's the kind of story you like to support.

Meanwhile, with his young-looking face and good intentions, I was reminded of my BMB award comment from last year: If you were to tell me Foye was 13 and heading to the podium to read his haftorah, I'd not only believe you, but slip a check in his pocket. L'chaim, Randy!

Saer Sene
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Rust is never a good color for a suit.

BIG LOSER: SAER SENE Let's hope his game isn't as rusty as the color of his suit. He might get the last laugh, having been taken with the 10th overall pick, but fans were laughing first. (Hey, wait a sec: Was he even invited to sit in the Green Room?)

Biggest Disappointment: Andrea Bargnani. Heading into the draft, I had high expectations for the Italian export; how could a nation known for fashion let him become the first European player taken No. 1 overall with what looked like a plain old Armani suit off the rack?

More: For the trio of first-rounders from UConn, it was an uneven night.

Despite wearing a blinging watch that even had Stuart Scott jealous, Rudy Gay slipped deep into the top 10 (and looked ridiculous in a Bobcat orange tie after they passed him over), and Marcus Williams fell all the way into the 20s (was he wiping his nervous sweat with his red pocket square?)

But awkward-looking teammate Hilton Armstrong was caught without his jacket on, blinding the camera in a questionable turquoise shirt. (Was it supposed to be a homage to the Hornets' teal?)

The TV Crew
Taking sartorial first prize from 2005 winner Greg Anthony was my Northwestern classmate Rachel Nichols, who might very well have been the best-dressed in all of Charlotte in her black pinstriped suit jacket.

Rudy Gay
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Rudy stuck to a conservative and bland look.

Meanwhile, I want to know where Jay Bilas gets his ties, because every year he stands out with his selection. This year was no different, in a purple tie with diagonal striping. (Hmm, Bilas listed Tyrus Thomas as his No. 1 prospect and the two of them wore the same color tie. Coincidence or fashion conspiracy?)

For the second straight year, international expert Fran Fraschilla (blue suit, cream shirt, orange tie) should make ESPN execs recheck his expense accounts to be sure he wasn't spending his time abroad scouting prospects like this "Prada" kid I've heard so much about.

And finally: Dickie V, who traded in last year's yellow ESPN golf shirt for a black version this year. Kudos on taking me up on last year's advice to undo that top button, bay-bee!

The Families
The draft fashion show has always been -- and will remain -- about the women who show up to support their sons. My mom manages to well up with tears at least once every draft broadcast, seeing how thrilled the draftee moms are for their sons.

Consistent with our Big Winner, it was the two women who showed up to support Tyrus Thomas who provided the standout family fashion of the Green Room. Neither were identified on the TV broadcast (Mom? Aunt? Grandma?), but one had a fantastic white suit jacket over a white top, and the other wore a green top with a flowery applique.

In another notable showing, J.J. Redick's mom outdressed her son in a scarlet jacket.

And if any mom got screen time, it was Michelle Williams, Marcus' mom. Maybe she just had a little extra time on her hands from her son's draft slide or maybe she was just excited for him when he was finally selected, but at least she promoted him fashionably, wearing a gray jacket and pink top, sporting hoop earings as big as her open feelings for her son.

Front-office fabulous … or fatal
Another year, another reminder: Team-logo golf shirts are for the concession stands, not the teleconference with a national TV audience. If you know you're going on TV, take the five minutes to put on a jacket and tie.

Kudos to Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo for setting the right tone for the video conference hook-up with the national TV audience by wearing a black pinstriped suit and a salmon-colored tie.

A late runner-up to new Bobcats honcho Michael Jordan, who always looks fabulous, this time chatting up Nichols while wearing a simple black button-down shirt that looked better than every other executive put together.

(Kudos also to Villanova coach Jay Wright, who supported his player Foye in the Green Room by wearing a natty gray pinstriped suit that had my wife glancing back to the screen.)

On the flip side, there was Larry Bird, who wore a blue T-shirt under a checked sportcoat. Was the draft that depressing, Larry Legend? And Warriors fans should ask fewer questions about drafting O'Bryant and more about why Chris Mullin was wearing a "Golden" yellow mock turtle. And Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and Suns coach Mike D'Antoni both got caught wearing standard-issue black golf shirts. Zzzzz …

Though Bulls GM John Paxson was universally lauded for his picks and Blazers GM Steve Patterson roundly criticized, they deserve a combined mixed review for their sartorial efforts: Both need to understand that their white shirts wash out on TV.

One Random Observation: If there was a possible symbol of the ugliness of the Knicks' draft, it was Spike Lee sitting there in his Knicks orange button-down shirt. Did he know what he was doing? (The answer might be "Yes," but then again, you'll get the same answer out of Isiah Thomas.)

By comparison to Lee, even the frat guy in the Knicks No. 10 Frazier jersey who mouthed "Suck it!" on national TV (to which Dan Patrick snarkily replied, heading to commercial, "I sucked it.") looked better.

And as for Commissioner Stern, don't think we forgot! Not only did he look as smart as ever in his blue suit, blue shirt and pink-ish tie, but his deputy, Russ Granik, making his final draft appearance ever, wore nearly the exactly the same thing. Kudos!

NBA Draft Night All-Style Team
Tyrus Thomas
Brandon Roy
Ronnie Brewer
Rachel Nichols
Michael Jordan

Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "Daily Quickie" commentary appears every weekday morning, and you can join him for SportsNation's "Morning Quickie" every weekday from 9-10 a.m. ET. Contact Dan here.




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FASHION SENSE