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Chris Webber

On the eve of March Madness, we could do something creative like pit clothing items against each other in a fantasy tournament for style supremacy. (Our money would be on the Tennessee Raw Denims. Or maybe the Michigan Wolverine Boots.) But corny jokes aside, we’d rather just remind you to get your college basketball predictions in order, because brackets are due tomorrow (Thursday, 3/21) by 12:15 EST.

While betting actual US currency amongst your friends, family, and office frenemies is of dubious legality, wagering for a year’s worth of bragging rights is not. And, despite our better judgment (because it will reduce our own chances of winning), we’ll also encourage you to visit our friends at Shipley & Halmos, where you can enter their March Mayhem Challenge for a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree.

Below are a few classic photos of college players to inspire you while you ponder your bracket picks. Good luck, and may the best team win. (We’ll be pulling for home-state heroes Gonzaga. Go Zags.)


Michael Jordan


Charles Barkley


Jerry Lucas


Larry Johnson


Oscar Robertson


Allen Iverson


Julius Erving, aka Dr. J


Clyde Drexler


Lew Alcindor (before he was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)


“Pistol” Pete Maravich


David Robinson


Artis Gilmore


Earvin “Magic” Johnson


Patrick Ewing


Wilt Chamberlain


Michigan’s infamous “Fab Five”:
Ray Jackson, Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King.

 

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…And fill out your bracket, invite friends to compete and more at ESPN.com.

 
 
 

[First photo: Earvin 'Magic' Johnson vs. Larry Bird in the 1979 Championship game between Michigan State and Indiana State, by James Drake via Sports Illustrated. Remaining photos via GQ.com, except Michael Jordan via, Larry Johnson via, Allen Iverson via, David Robinson via, Patrick Ewing via, Michigan Fab Five via. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

Chris Webber isn’t just one of the NBA’s best-dressed announcers—he’s also one of its most insightful.

Tapping into a 15-season NBA career rich with hard-fought grudge matches (see Kings v Lakers for the Western Conference, 2002), Webber translates his experience on the frontlines as an elite power forward into court-side commentary that elucidates the pressures, mindsets and motivations of players and coaches like none other.

Check out Webber’s style highlights from the 2012 post-season, and don’t miss the video below—it’s the kind of unflinching advice that could only come from a man who’s been there himself.

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[Above]: Act Natural. It takes more than a three-piece suit to stifle Webber’s animated personality—a good reminder to have yours tailored trim, but still comfortable enough to move around in.
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Sweat the Small Stuff. Usually the rule is to vary the scale, but here he nails a difficult small-on-small pattern combination. The secret is varying the kind of pattern: like dots on checks. The solid-grey suit helps calm down the intricate shirt and tie.
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Old-School Flair. Brown can risk looking vintage, but this modern blend of cool earth tones easily stands out amongst the crowd of navy blue.
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Go Big or Go Home. A signature part of Webber’s look is a masculine, ’70s-inspired lapel. You don’t have to be 6-foot-10 to pull it off—just confident. (Here he boldly goes stripe on stripe, on stripe. Vary the scale between all three and you’re good.)
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Real Talk. Webber’s comprehensive knowledge of Machiavellian hoops tactics, delivered in his signature zen-like, philosophical syntax (although he gets a bit revved up here) is a rare commodity in a field that often defaults to the stereotypical “boring guys yelling.” Above, his brutal but honest words of wisdom for last year’s faltering Miami Heat.

 

[Video stills courtesy of ABC, ESPN, TNT. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

This video surfaced following last month’s NBA Finals, in which oft-maligned LeBron James played arguably the best ball of his life—and finally saw his hard work pay off with a long-sought-after championship title (as well as MVP honors for the third time in four years).

Turns out, LeBron isn’t the only one who deserves a bit more respect. After viewing hour upon hour of game footage, we made a startling discovery: Sportscasters get a bad rap. You know the stereotypes: Gaudy shirt-and-tie combos. Quadruple-Windsor knots as big as your fist. And a lot of it’s true, as you can see below. But a select few know how to shoot the lights out, sartorially, night after night. So quit being ‘so disrespectful.’

 

A Bit Rusty
These three are legendary players (and often hilarious during halftime), but could benefit from brushing up on some style fundamentals.


Shaq’s sloppy shirt collar.


Barkley’s bad plaid


…and un-subtle stripes.


Magic’s abuse of bold colors.

 

The Wild Card
We took a peek into Craig Sager’s ungodly closet a few weeks ago. The truth is we don’t want him to stop. We just don’t recommend emulating him.

 

Hall of Fame
These last two don’t just avoid sportscaster clichés—they’re some of the best-dressed men you’ll see anytime, anywhere. Not bad, considering the challenges of fitting an NBA-sized frame.


1. Chris Webber. This five-time All-Star power forward kills it consistently with immaculate-fitting jackets, narrower shirt collars and the perfect, understated four-in-hand knot. Here, he nails a peak-lapel three-piece like it’s a free throw.


2. Reggie Miller. He’s clearly as meticulous with his sartorial choices as he was in perfecting his long-distance shot. Just compare this subtle windowpane plaid and deep-burgundy tie to Charles Barkley’s version of plaid + red, above.

 

Check back later this week for a full analysis of Webber’s and Miller’s sideline style techniques.
For now, shop: Suits | Dress Shirts | Ties | Big & Tall

 

[Video stills courtesy of ABC, ESPN, TNT. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]