The 2014 NBA Draft is set for Thursday night in Brooklyn, and while most will be focused on the futures of this year’s crop of talented teenagers, we prefer to discuss more important things: Namely, the shocking sartorial choices those top picks make.
After all, over the past three decades, the draft has given us no shortage of memorable looks – Hakeem Olajuwon’s prom-night tuxedo, Drew Gooden’s no-button lab coat, Samaki Walker’s Players Ball ensemble – though none have come close to matching the ruby-red suit Jalen Rose broke out for the 1994 draft, a sharp, pinstriped number that was one part pastor, one part Suge Knight.
When Rose, a member of Michigan’s famed Fab Five, was chosen 13th overall by the Denver Nuggets, he strode to the stage in an outfit that matched his college teammates’ swagger and style. Combined with a slightly psychedelic tie (and pocket square), he definitely stood apart from the rest of the ’94 class…and most classes that would follow.
In fact, 20 years later, Rose’s suit is still mentioned whenever draft-night fashion is discussed. And, to his credit, the 13-year NBA vet (and current analyst for ESPN) doesn’t get mad…in fact, he considers it an honor.
“Many people think my red pinstriped suit is one of the greatest draft suits of all time,” he told Mashable in 2009. “As you look back at it, just remember it was 1994, and the style was definitely different back then…It’s a draft-day classic that reappears every year.”
So, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rose’s sartorial splendor – and the occasion of tonight’s draft – here’s a flashback to the ’94 draft. All of it. Remember kids, what you wear tonight echoes in eternity.