Every year we are blessed with a fresh crop of college and international prospects who sit around diligently waiting for their lives to change forever. But let's be honest, that's not the fun part of the NBA Draft. The fun part is sitting around with your friends and coworkers and playing fashion critic as a bunch of kids shake hands with the NBA commissioner in suits and shoes that are so outlandish that we occasionally ask ourselves how anyone allowed them to leave the boutique. So with that in mind and the draft looming Thursday evening, let's revisit some of the worst NBA Draft suits of all time.
15. Larry Johnson: No. 1 in 1991 to the Charlotte Hornets
The actual suit Johnson wore here isn't the problem, it's the ridiculous undershirt that looks like a Leonardo da Vinci sketch pad with white pants and the Nike Cortez kicks. All of it screams early 90s and I'm so here for it, especially with the picture looking like Johnson was taking his senior pictures right after he went No. 1 overall.
14. Erick Dampier: No. 10 in 1996 to the Indiana Pacers
My lord it looks like someone could use this suit as a tarp to cover up a reasonably sized minor-league ballpark. The thing that makes Dampier's terrible '90s suit stand out from others during this decade is that someone let him leave the house looking like an oversized flamingo in that fuchsia suit. Those checkered parachute pants aren't helping either.
13. Bonzi Wells: No. 11 in 1998 to the Detroit Pistons
Speaking of suits that could double as tarps, my man Bonzi looks like a kid trying to dress up in his dad's suit. He also kind of looks like the old cliche of two kids taking a supersized trench coat and trying to pass as an adult with that handshake and stare into the camera. Also, I'm not sure you could count the amount of buttons on that suit with both hands.
12. Drew Gooden: No. 4 in 2002 to the Memphis Grizzlies
Oh weren't the '90s such a wonderful time where no one knew what was going on with fashion? As has become a pattern, nobody in the '90s knew what a tailored suit looked like so everyone just kind of threw some XXXXL fabric and some sleeves together and went to draft day. Also where are your buttons, my guy? Did you think looking like a closet door was the best idea?
11. LeBron James: No. 1 in 2003 to the Cleveland Cavaliers
The greatest player currently dribbling a basketball doesn't get a pass here. C;mon, 'Bron. Mr. James, who told you that all-white suits were still a thing? It makes me wonder how in the world they celebrated or went to dinner after the draft because there's no way that thing can still be clean. Everyone's allowed to make mistakes.
10. Carmelo Anthony: No. 3 in 2003 to the Denver Nuggets
I don't know what the best part about this photo is. Melo only buttoning the second button and letting his tie and weird mustard shirt hang out, the terrible Nuggets hat that he's wearing -- like seriously, the Nuggets have some of the best colors to work with in the NBA, do better -- or his braids hanging down to his shoulders. This is a gem of a picture that we need to bury in a time capsule for future generations to laugh at.
9. Chuck Person: No. 4 in 1986 to the Indiana Pacers
Again with the all-white suits, man. Somebody stop this. We're not focusing on that right now, though. Peep the bright pink bow tie and cummerbund Person is rocking. Had I known the NBA Draft was like senior prom, I would have worked on my jumper significantly more and improved my rather-limited outrageously colored bow tie collection.
8. Chris Bosh: No. 4 in 2003 to the Toronto Raptors
I know fashion is cyclical, but we should never go back to the age of intentionally baggy outfits. It looks like Bosh could fit his entire body into one of those pant legs. The mustard/Georgia Tech colors are admirable but this is a crime against draft suits everywhere.
7. Peja Stojakovic: No. 14 in 1996 to the Sacramento Kings
It looks like someone peeled the material off my parents couch and wrapped Peja in it. One of the best long range snipers of all time shot his shot with that suit and it airballed. Corduroy suits are typically a bad idea and this suit should be burned if it hasn't been already.
6. Karl Malone: No. 13 in 1985 to the Utah Jazz
OK, I understand that I've been blasting oversized suits for most of these rankings, so let's go ahead and drag the other side. Karl Malone had no business wearing a suit that he found in the Kids' Big and Tall section. His tie looks like somebody chopped it off, his pants go past his belly button. If he even sneezes then that whole thing is going to explode. Just use a tailor, guys.
5. Joakim Noah: No. 9 in 2007 to the Chicago Bulls
This is another one in the vein of the Carmelo suit in which the picture is almost as good as the suit itself. Shooting the peace sign and cheesing while David Stern looks like he'd rather be just about anywhere else is amazing. The hair adds to the aesthetic as well. Now let's keep it concise on the suit: no one wants a seersucker suit and weird bow tie, all oddly fitted. Do better, Jo Jo.
4. Tim Thomas: No. 7 in 1997 to the New Jersey Nets
This looks like someone took a Yankees jersey and thought, "hey this would make a dope suit" and then blew it up to three times its size. There are so many talking points on this one. Is it double breasted? What is that lapel pin? Do you think those pants could double as pajamas for a small family? Is his undershirt made of tin foil? This one should be higher but the top three are iconic.
3. Jalen Rose: No. 13 in 1994 to the Denver Nuggets
We've finally reached the suit that may be the most infamous in NBA history if only because of Rose's rising star in the media. Honestly, I think this suit goes into the "it's so bad, it's good" category. The suit in and of itself is ridiculous, something Rose has always owned up to, but it's the tie that really pushes this up my rankings. It looks like Doctor Strange was trying to open a portal into Rose's chest and belly button. The matching pants are also incredible. The more I think about it, I might actually have some shopping to do after this one.
2. Maurice Taylor: No. 14 in 1997 to the Los Angeles Clippers
Some will say that having this this high is a travesty and that this suit isn't that bad. Well, to those people, are you looking at your screen with sunglasses on? Because you'd need some blinders to be in the same room as this suit and multiple cameras with flash. This looks like something you'd dress a joke 2K player in after you lost a bet. And the stripes aren't making this any better. Did he envisioned the Hornets drafting him with that suit? The pure combination of color, size and the gold buttons make this nearly the worst, but there's one more that's even better.
1. Samaki Walker: No. 9 in 1996 to the Dallas Mavericks
Did you think that you'd get out of these rankings with me bringing up Samaki's hat? The fact that he went to the rodeo-loving Dallas area only makes this better. His sleeves look like he could fit his head in there. His matching suit jacket and shirt are A1 and is that snakeskin pattern under that shirt? It's all brought together by a fantastic hat that is an underused element in the draft game. This draft suit is truly terrible and we are all better off for having it. Thanks Samaki.