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Thursday, June 28, 2001
Updated: July 16, 2:28 PM ET
Fashion emergency call
to NBA draft


By Dan Shanoff
Special to Page 2

Forget who went where. Or when. To real fans, the NBA draft was the ultimate parade of style hits and misses. And Page 2 was inspired to do its Vogue thing.

The headline? Beige was all the rage. Did all these guys employ the same tailor? We haven't seen so much tan since Cannes.

The Players
Tony Parker
Tony Parker presses flesh with the commish and dunks on fellow first-rounders with the "Regis" look.
Big Winner: If it's true that clothes make the player, then give Rookie of the Year to San Antonio draftee Tony Parker right now. Schooled in "haute-hoops" style by the Parisians, there were high expectations for Parker heading into the draft, and he dunked on his fellow first-rounders with a smart black suit, red shirt and red tie combo. We thought the "Regis" look was out, but Parker may single-handedly revive the trend. We see Parker leading the fast break -- to a fashion Renaissance! -- in the Alamo City.

Other Winners: Prepster Eddy Curry gambled with a dark-red shirt under his beige suit, but pulled it off when it coordinated with his draft status as the top pick of the Bulls. That sigh of relief you saw on his face had less to do with his excitement over playing near home and more to do with the embarrassment he would have felt going to a team without red as a primary logo color ... Golden State draftee Jason Richardson, who bucked the four-button jacket trend for an eight-button combo. (Warning to wannabes: Don't try this at your next fashion-driven function unless you're 6-5 or taller.) ... Leave it to the Yugoslavian to make the gutsy call: Vladimir Radmanovic outclassed many of his green-room peers with a nifty high-cut vest.

More That's In: Shirt-tie contrast; kerchiefs; solid ties

Losers: Pinstripes are ungainly enough, but they look even worse when you're the last one in the green room. We hear Brendan Haywood's draft stock plummeted on the basis of his outfit; the NBA is not a business, Brendan, it's a lifestyle. Don't bring that weak stuff in here! ... We didn't see local product Samuel Dalembert on the night's agenda, but he made his way to the podium anyway. Was he a last-minute addition or was that just shoddy tailoring? Cuffs make the man, Sam ... Finally, to all those players, such as Troy Murphy, who went with the blue suits: It's a draft, not your bar-mitzvah. The top picks were wearing tan for a reason.

More That's Out: Unbuttoned jackets to shake NBA commish David Stern's hand (Eddie Griffin, you know better!); pattern ties (Love ya, Shane Battier, but use your signing bonus on a trip to Zegna).

The TV crew
Brendan Haywood
Brendan Haywood and his mom, Barbara, made bad and good fashion statements.
Winners: Rick Pitino, who has never looked unkempt a day in his life. Louisville has obviously treated him right, but fans of the Cardinals would like to know why Coach Rick was sporting a tie colored a little too close to a Kentucky blue hue ... Charles Barkley can pull off the black-on-black with no tie. He's never been a full-suit guy ... Cheryl Miller brightened up the fashion-challenged Golden State offices with a smart yellow blouse. Not everyone can pull off the canary look.

Losers: We don't know what was more outlandish: Peter Vecsey's misinformation or his choice of shirt. We all saw why the Madison Square Garden rabble was taunting him with a "Vecsey's shirt!" chant, didn't we? Yellow is for journalism, not men's shirts ... After marveling at a season's worth of outrageous outfits, we were disappointed that Craig Sager went conservative with a blue suit. For better or worse, we at least expected something to talk about. Instead, everyone's talking about how smooth Battier stole Sager's thunder by ribbing him about his past as the Northwestern mascot.

Still Thinking About It: Kenny Smith deserves his own mention. Our first reaction to the periwinkle suit with matching shirt and tie was to cover our eyes and wail. But as the night wore on, we realized he might just have pulled it off. Breakout fashionista or a mistake? We'll reserve judgment until we see The Jet's look next year.

The green room
When I was younger, my mom would join me in front of the television for the NBA draft, just to watch the draftees' moms in the green room. Look at how happy they are, she would say. Look at how well-dressed, she'd say. Look at how the first person the players turn to is their mother, she'd say. Remember that, she'd say. We do.

Moms were all winners, especially: Barbara Haywood, whose dramatic pink-hat-and-scarf illuminated the green room and proved worth the wait as her son, Brendan, sat stewing ... Vernie Threadgill (Tyson Chandler's mom) and Marisa Saez (Pau Gasol's mom), who sported white (appropriately after Memorial Day), perhaps in solidarity with their sons going two-three ... Sandee Battier, who showed where Shane gets his intelligence from, sporting a smart scoop-neck blue pantsuit and silver necklace ...

Accessory of the night: Joyce Brown (Kwame's mom), carrying a two-ton emerald around her neck.

Coach, get a T.O.!
You'd think that coaches would take advantage of the national-TV exposure to make a statement about their sartorial savvy. But who wouldn't agree that it was hard to pay attention to their spin about their draftees while staring at the garish ensembles.

Losers: Boston coach Jim O'Brien and Golden State coach Dave Cowens. The war room may be warm, but fellas, let's remember that golf shirts are for the summer-camp scene. How will your fans know you're serious about contending if you're not serious about your evening wear? ... Apparently, Rudy T hasn't heard that "Draft-Casual" is out with the New Economy collapse. Lose the open-collared brown button-down, which makes you look like the coach of the Schlock-ets.

Front-office fabulous
Samuel Dalembert
After getting picked 26th overall by Philadelphia, Samuel Dalembert can now afford cuffs.
Winner: Michael Jordan, the reigning best-dressed in basketball, again showed why he's the greatest ever, looking smooth in a beige suit, crème shirt and appropriate "Wizards-blue" silk tie.

Winner: Stern, whose jaunty tie matched a jaunty attitude as he engaged in witty repartee with the TV panel.

Loser: Points to Golden State GM Garry St. Jean for his "Lottery-comfortable" pairing of a blue blazer and khaki pants, but he gambled and lost (the fashion equivalent of trading Vince Carter) with the garish maroon-and-blue diagonal-striped tie, which seemed to have Miller wincing.

Back to school
Three college coaches making appearances seemed unprepared for the NBA spotlight: We know he's got a blue-collar reputation to uphold, but Michigan State coach Tom Izzo could have at least made a stop at Bloomingdale's before making his way to the Garden. The black jacket with gray pants wasn't as much of a shocker as his button-down collar, which stood out in the sea of dress collars like he didn't look in the mirror before he went out ... Just because you're JUCO doesn't mean you have to have to dress like you're from some backwater burg. Kedrick Brown's coach, Bruce Stewart, was trying to make a point about Brown breaking some draft barrier, but we were too busy staring at his black-shirt-with-band-collar like it was a train wreck ... Our biggest disappointment? Arizona coach Lute Olson. Olson, normally one of the college game's smartest sideline sartorists, went with the TNT golf shirt, putting him in contention for our worst-dressed award.

Ready to where?!
Whether you are going to a rave or to Rucker this summer, there will be only one L.A. team whose logo is en vogue (and they don't wear the gaudy purple-and-yellow). No. 2-pick Tyson Chandler wasn't upset to be leaving his parents in being traded from his hometown Los Angeles to the basketball exile that is Chicago -- he was crushed to be swapping his ultra-trendy Clippers hat for the Dulls (oops, make that Bulls lid). The Clippers' old-school cursive logo has gone from outdated to ooh-la-la!

More hats off
In: Joe Dumars has done more for the Pistons franchise in the past week as an executive than he did as a player. Forget fast-rising draftee Rodney White; did you see the Pistons' "new" logo and uniforms? It's a return to the vintage look of the 1980s. You go, Bad Boys!

Out: Memo to Cavs GM Jim Paxson: Lose the baby-blue in the headwear, baby! The "soft" look sure didn't help the already Charmin-y Brendan Haywood. The color is so unintimidating, no wonder they had to draft interior help.

In: We were thrilled to see the return of the low-slung cap. The "askew" look went out with black socks and shorts hanging below the knees.

Out: Someone please get Jason Richardson's agency on the phone and let them know that top five picks who wear their caps down over their eyes in their TV debut as a professional won't attract the sponsors.

Thank God
TNT did the world a favor reliving the worst of Draft Fashion Past. Among the offenders: Samaki Walker's derby, Jalen Rose's red-pinstripe suit, and Karl Malone's unsuccessful attempt to promote straight-from-the-Bayou chic.

NBA draft-night all-style team

Dan Shanoff is a regular contributor to Page 2. He watched the draft in his apartment wearing a beige three-button Donna Karan summer suit.