And now you’ve got a bunch of Instagram blogs now that do nothing but capture people walking into that tunnel. That runway—we call it the runway now —it’s a different vibe now. It’s cool for fans to finally be able to see. It’s the worst feeling in the world for somebody to look at you and just say like, “Yo, you’re just a dumb basketball player.”
That’s really what people think a lot of times. It’s cool [that] through fashion, you can have a conversation with somebody and realize, “Damn, he’s not just a basketball player. This dude really likes clothes!” You give somebody a compliment and then you start to realize he’s a person, he’s not just this basketball player that doesn’t talk, and he’s mean, and he has a bodyguard. It just sort of knocks you off the pedestal for a second so somebody can say, “Oh man, I really like those jeans. Oh man, I really like that shirt. That outfit you wore …”
So where do you think the NBA is at right now in terms of style?
It’s growing. I think people are taking more and more risks. People are starting to want to impress themselves for themselves, and say, Maybe I’m not playing so well right now, so let me wear this outfit, get my confidence to feel like I’m ready to play, look good, feel good, play good. It’s one of those.
I did the GQ red carpet [at the NBA Draft], and those young guys coming in, they were serious. Me personally when I got drafted, I wasn’t thinking about what I had to wear. I’m like, “I just want to wear my jersey.” They were excited to tell me about their outfit, and it’s cool because, like I said, the worst feeling in the world is for everybody to stare at us like, “Okay, play basketball, entertain us, or get out of our face, because you guys look like avatars and you don’t fit in.” It’s the worst feeling in the world. Every room I go into, when you get treated that way, I say, Where is a seat so that I can sit down and make myself short so I’m not sticking out like a sore thumb? Because everybody is just fishbowling me. Nowadays I would much rather you fishbowl my outfit than fishbowl me because it’s like, “Oh, he plays basketball. Go put it in the hoop.”
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