TNT’s Inside The NBA crew makes a sport of critiquing the fashion sense of the league’s top players. Now the network is giving them their own venue to do it, unveiling today plans for the first NBA fashion show, NBA All-Star Style, a one-hour special being produced by LeBron James’ growing Springhill Productions shingle and IMG. It will air Saturday at 6:30 PM ET as part of TNT’s All-Star weekend coverage that wraps with Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.
The show, to be taped Friday at Hammerstein Ballroom in NY, will consist of three rounds – dressing for the boardroom, a night out, and attire worn to the game – with the players teaming with a stylist and model as they walk the runway. The first round will consist of eight players, with four players advancing to the second round and the top two competing in the finals. James Harden, Klay Thompson, Chandler Parsons, DeMarcus Cousins, Zach LaVine and other players are on the hook for this, though no word about Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook — either the Derek Zoolander or Hansel of the NBA right now, in my opinion (see photo at right).
NBA On TNT regulars Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith are on the judging panel alongside designer John Elliott, the WNBA’s Elena Delle Donne and GQ Style Editor Will Welch. Shaquille O’Neal will be the emcee, and Kevin Hart will provide commentary and backstage interviews. IMG models Erin Heatherton, Chanel Iman, Rachel Hilbert and Shanina Shaik will mentor.
Sports figures always have been at the forefront of fashion — for better (aka Joe Namath) or not so better (take your pick) — with those multimillion-dollar contracts and lives in the public eye greasing the wheels. But this year’s “contestants” should be breathing a sigh of relief that they won’t have to face Jack Ramsay, the former coach of my beloved Portland Trail Blazers and the longtime ESPN commentator who died in April. This event should have been held in 1975 not 2015, and nobody else would have touched him:
Who else would have run away with this runway showdown?