Life for a NBA rookie: Welcome to The Big Leagues
Photo by Eric White
Quotes by Sarah Lyall in Tmagazine blogs from the New York Times
A killer three-pointer no longer cuts it in the world of pro basketball. To succeed as a multimillion-dollar brand, an athlete needs business savvy, fashion know-how and good table manners. Welcome to the N.B.A.’s other training camp.
They had heard a succession of horrifying tales about drug addiction, alcohol abuse and women of ill repute who hang around hotel lobbies in unfamiliar cities. They had been told how to seize control of their new fortunes, how to distinguish genuine friends from opportunistic hangers-on and how to nimbly sidestep tricky questions in interviews. And now, as part of a program to help them prepare for the most seismic transformation of their lives, members of the National Basketball Association’s rookie class of 2014 were assembled in a conference room in a hotel in Florham Park, N.J., being lectured on a crucial part of their new job: personal style.
It’s hard to be a newly minted multi-millionaire newly drafted into the NBA. Fame, fortune, women and of course lots and lots of stylish new clothes and accompanying bling. Once we are done feeling bad for these unfortunate young men we can appreciate the attempt the league is making at helping them avoid some of the pitfalls of those who have come before them. Granted that will deny us the pleasure of reading about another wealthy, famous person crashing back to reality with the rest of us but really it is a good thing. The reality is sports stars are role models and aspirational figures for today’s boys and young men. If our sports stars learn to surround themselves with positive influences, save and invest their money wisely and represent themselves as positive figures who deserve to be emulated then perhaps everyone wins.
One of the interesting topics that this crop of rookies is taught is how to develop a personal style. One that projects the image that the league and all those eager prospective sponsors want to be associated with. The advice is appropriate not just for budding NBA stars but for anyone who wants to control the image they project along with spending their wardrobe budget wisely. According to celebrity stylist Rachel Johnson who lectured at this years meeting:
Every gentleman should have a peacoat, a raincoat, a varsity jacket and an overcoat, she said; also a blue suit, a gray suit and a black suit. Cargo pants are versatile and can be dressed up to look fancier than they are. You can mix and match; the navy jacket will look just fine with the black pants. Do not use the same Irish Spring soap on your face that you use under your arms. When you leave the house, throw on a classic watch and your signature fragrance, and assume that you are being observed at all times.
Some sound advice. You don’t need a closet full of custom suits and enough pants and shirts to risk breaking the clothes rack along with your bank account. The right combination of key pieces goes a long way to looking like you were just drafted into the big leagues.
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