For the top prospects in basketball, there is no bigger night than draft night. This is not just the beginning of their professional career and where they will join one of the 30 famous teams and play alongside the best in the world, but it is also a celebration as all their hard work finally pays off. Seeing as it is such an important night, dressing smartly is a must. A suit says a lot about a man, and many players have turned up to the draft in outfits that are just hideous. Here are five players that shocked the basketball world with their bizarre choices.
5. Joakim Noah (9th pick in the 2007 Draft)
It’s clear that Noah is not a smart dresser and prefers to be scruffy, but you would hope that he would scrub up for the biggest night of his life. Noah, who had already developed quite the reputation at the University of Florida, turned up in an off-white pinstriped suit which was made much worse by a large clownish bowtie. When this is combined with his bushy, unkempt hair and a cheesy grin as he shakes David Stern’s hand, it is not the sharpest look. The Bulls must have wondered if they made the right choice. Fortunately they did, as Noah has been sensational for the Bulls and has the ability to fire up both the crowd and teammates, as well as get under his opponents skin. He also picked up the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year award and continues to shine.
4. Tim Thomas (7th pick in the 1997 Draft)
With the 7th pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, the New Jersey Nets picked Tim Thomas out of Villanova but they would immediately trade him to Philadelphia — perhaps because of his suit. Thomas took to the stage in a hideous oversized white pin-striped suit to shake the hand of the commissioner. There are few things worse than a suit which is comically too big, but a white pin-striped one is particularly bad. The design makes it look more like a dressing gown or pajamas than a suit. It may have been a poor choice by Thomas, but it was not a poor pick up by the 76ers, as Thomas would impress from the get-go. Thomas would spend much of his career switching team and never finding a real home. Despite this, he proved himself to be a valuable asset thanks to his size and shooting ability.
3. Jalen Rose (13th pick in the 1994 Draft)
As part of the Michigan “Fab 5”, Jalen Rose had already made quite the name for himself in the basketball world. Everyone was eager to see how he would fare in the pros. In typical fashion, he made quite a scene at the 1994 draft by turning up in a tomato red oversized pinstripe suit. This was then completed with an ugly red tie with a gold pattern that is knotted far too tightly. The suit itself looks more like the material used on an old couch than what you would wear to the most important evening of your life. Rose’s reputation as a trend setter somewhat took a hit that evening. Although he had a solid career, Rose would fail to make a big impact on the league and played for six different teams before retiring to a broadcasting career.
2. Maurice Taylor (14th pick in the 1997 Draft)
Had Maurice Taylor been selected by the Charlotte Hornets, then maybe his choice of a teal pinstriped suit could have been excused, but instead he was selected by the L.A. Clippers. The suit is incredibly garish and complete with gold buttons and cuffs, plus it doesn’t even properly fit Taylor (although this is a common problem with taller NBA players). Unfortunately for Maurice Taylor, this loud suit would be the most noise that he would make in the NBA, as he would go on to play with the Clippers, Rocket, Knicks, and Kings before being released in 2007. Taylor was also involved in the University of Michigan basketball scandal where he and several other Michigan players were accused of taking money from a booster. His records have now been scrubbed from their books, but this suit can sadly not be scrubbed from our memory.
1. Drew Gooden (4th pick in 2002 Draft)
In 2002, the Memphis Grizzlies selected PF Drew Gooden with the 4th pick. He would shock the world when he took to the stage to shake David Stern’s hand, as he had opted for a rather strange grey suit with no buttons. It instead appears as if it zips up at the front, making it look like a cross between Dr Evil’s suit in Austin Powers and a raincoat. Gooden has gone on to have a relatively successful career and has proven himself to be a valuable asset, but he perhaps did not live up to his expectation as the 4th pick (behind Yao Ming, Jay Williams, and Mike Dunleavy Jr.). He has jumped around the league somewhat, and now finds himself with the Washington Wizards. But he’s certainly not a fashion icon in the league.