You've Got The Look!
I always thought these things came out after the draft, but here these are. Okay, so maybe they always come out beforehand; perhaps I didn't notice until this year because so much is unsettled, so many players looking to define themselves amidst the din, that such images matter more than usual. Anyway, here's my cursory do/don't take on these, with apologies to Billups:
For someone so gangly on the court, Thabeet, unlike most seven-footers, sure knows how to look natural in the suit. He also has a face that looks like it could be put on a normal-sized person, a big plus when it comes to centers seeming human. The guy even shrugs and grins naturally, effortlessly, in a way that puts you at ease. This is wholesome point guard territory, not the usual awkward weirdo introvert.Counterbalance all that on-court scouting, now no one will whisper when he goes top three. For hell's sake, what other big man can drape a sweater over his shoulders without looking like a demonic scarecrow?
Everyone else is trying to tell us who they are, or really are, or want us to think they really are, with these shots. Ricky Ricky could give a fuck less about that. This is all about "how will I like in a fashion shoot" or "am I paparazzi worthy," maybe even "imagine this billboard over Times Square." Because see, Rubio isn't a person, he's an icon, a cute little sensation waiting to, however briefly, make an NBA city feel like it's the center of the basketball world. If that ugly-ass dude who is always on the Clippers could bag a model, imagine what kind of arm-candy this guy will come up with? You other kids get sneaker contracts; he's busy moving Armani.
Life is all about stark contrasts. Here's Rubio's arch-rival, humorless, smile-less, and without frivolity, dressed up just enough to show you he knows he, dressed down to show you he will roll up those sleeves and get to work. That expression says STRICTLY BUSINESS, and he's even hiding the ball in a non-flamboyant way. "My name is Brandon, and I control the rock." This shot also makes you believe he's just a weird-looking dude, not a teen still growing into his face. It's all gaze, no market, just the portrait of a player who wants respect. Which is overdoing it, of course, since this shit about him falling to #20 is just a Masonic conspiracy.
They say Jrue Holiday isn't ready. They say he only looks good on paper. The answer? Make him look a very sensitive golem emerging from a long lunch break in the void of un-being. I hope that's a satisfactory explanation.
Jordan Hill is just trying to figure it all out.
You know the ultimate mark of either a very young athlete or a total mama's boy? When they can't rock an outfit without looking like someone else picked it out for them. It also doesn't help that DeRozan, who is going to get drafted based on athleticism, looks like he's running for student body president of Dead Person University. No color? No expression but that wan grin? I don't even believe this guy can move. Or maybe I'm reading it all wrong, and that's the point: Seriousness and composure, to preempt all the "jump out the gym" talk. Even something resembling a wrap-around pass. Hidden secrets. Unknown pleasures. Whatever the last Joy Division album is called.
First of all, I own that same outfit. But not the socks. I like the socks, and think that's the next frontier of NBA fashion. That said, Curry looks perfectly comfortable and convincing until you get to the point of contact between his hand and the ball. NOT A GOOD SIGN. If he's going to be anything more than a friendly catch-and-shoot fella, he could at least look like he sometimes takes the ball out at night and does tricks in front of the mirror. . . in that outfit. That's what the people want.
Does Hansbrough mean to be wearing exactly what Adam Morrison rocked in 2006?