Michael Jordan

Just because the Spurs cut the Finals a bit short last month, trouncing the Heat 4-1, doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of summer without a basketball fix.

Stance—maker of unique socks for the office, the basketball court, and lounging (and sliding) in style at your hardwood-furnished apartment à la Risky Business—has outdone itself yet again. Now, in addition to carrying out said activities in stripes, spots, floral, Fair Islecamo, tie-dye, leopard and 4th of July-appropriate red, white and blue, you can also don the photographic likenesses of your favorite NBA legends—on your feet.

Keep reading to see six of our favorite socks (and players), from The Reign Man to The Worm—plus classic highlight reels for each one.

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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.]

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In the spirit of the holidays, we asked some of our favorite brands and designers a simple question with a rarely simple answer: What’s you favorite gift? Answers ranged from prized possessions they’ve received, to a signature item to give, to less-tangible ‘gifts’ that can’t be bought. Though they vary wildly, the answers below all have one thing in common: They give an unmistakable look into each brand’s ethos. Scroll down to get inside the minds of America’s best designers (and click the links to start deciding how to spend that Nordstrom Gift Card that Grandma gave you).


Heavy Medals from Legendary Friends. “My favorite gifts are from my friends Jimmy Page and Alice Cooper, who gave me their gold and platinum record awards, respectively. These are framed in my office and commemorate 500,000 and 1 million copies of albums sold—a phenomenal achievement that I get to hang on my wall and see every day.”  —John Varvatos
 


Bulls Tickets, 1989. “The best gift I ever received came from my sister: my niece Isabella. The second-best I got from my parents in 1989 for Christmas: Two tickets to see Michael Jordan play at Chicago Stadium with my dad. I was 10. Jordan scored 42 points against the Golden State Warriors; I’ll never forget how loud it was when they announced his entrance.”  —Andy Dunn of Bonobos
 


A Bronzed Artifact. “This is a gift I received from Michael Stipe after we collaborated on an art project of his. He took a Diana/Lomo camera (similar quality to lighting filters used on Instagram) and cast it in bronze. I love the idea of low/high art and technology. A low-tech, cheap plastic camera, immortalized in bronze. This gift I will have and appreciate forever.”  —Rogan Gregory of Rogan
 


A Family Tree. “My favorite thing about the holidays is the huge tree we do every year. My wife is a Christmas ornament freak, so we load it down with white lights and tons of ornaments. My favorites are the homemade ones the children make. We decorate with all-natural clippings of pine, cedar, boxwood, holly and magnolia—using fresh keeps things simple. Most important is to relax and enjoy the family and special time of year.” Billy Reid
 


Iowa’s Best-Kept Secret. “All of my friends and family get a bottle of Templeton Rye, a small-batch rye whiskey based on a Prohibition-era recipe that was made in Templeton, Iowa. Since I’m from Iowa, the connection is obvious—and there’s no better way to warm up a cold, holiday night than with a nice glass of Templeton.” Todd Snyder
 


The Original Hand-Held Device. “Does this really need any explanation as to why it’s my favorite? I was 10. It’s a Game Boy. Nuff said.” —Sam Shipley of Shipley & Halmos
 


Christmas in Jamaica. “Last week, my wife treated me to a one-week getaway in Jamaica as my early Xmas gift. We stayed at a gorgeous private villa (Round Hill) overlooking the sea and Montego Bay. The gift included tennis lessons—definitely the best gift ever. The only downside is that now I have to treat her to something even more special!” —Dexter Peart of WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie
 


Late-’80s Pentax 67 Medium Format with Super Takumar 75mm 1:4.5 Lens. “Growing up, the Pentax 6×7 or 67 was one of the cameras I always lusted after but was never able to afford. With the advent of digital, these cameras are now extremely good value as vintage, in comparison to their original prices. I had been watching this camera on eBay as a ‘buy now’ option for a while, but not biting the bullet on it, and obviously boring my wife to death about it—so much so, that without my knowledge, she bout it for me. So I ended up getting one of my favorite presents and fulfilling a childhood dream at the same time.” —Cuan Hanly of Jack Spade
 


One-of-a-Kind Artwork. [It’s a tie. Left]: “White tiger…on a purple crystal…in fog…in space…on a collector’s plate…framed. The best part is the warning on the back that it ‘may poison food.’ I got it from a member of our creative team a few years ago—probably in an attempt to actually poison me.” [Right]: “The photo of a naked girl sitting in the woods with a unicorn is also in the running. Have you ever had a photo shoot with a unicorn? Those things never sit still. And they demand giant dressing rooms, and green M&Ms, and are total divas. They really just aren’t worth dealing with.” —Todd Masters of Toddland
 
 
 

[All photos shot by the designers/brands themselves, except Michael Jordan © Walter Iooss, Jr.]

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It was the stuff of legend: the first time the USA was permitted to send professional basketball players into battle—and what that year’s Olympiad lacked in fairness, it more than made up for in jaw-dropping spectacle. Twenty years later, the video quality doesn’t hold up well, but the acrobatic passing and deafening dunks certainly do:

A new 20th-anniversary documentary, The Dream Team, replete with exclusive interviews and never-before-seen footage, airs tonight at 9pm ET on NBA TV. For even more back-story, check out GQ’s funny and fascinating oral history of the greatest team ever assembled.

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And Mark Your Calendar: 2012 Men’s Olympic basketball—starring Carmelo, Kobe, Griffin and Iguodala, to name a few—commences July 29.


 

[Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom or products shown. Photo courtesy of NBA.com]

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