It was not unlikely to see Allen Iverson draped in baggy clothes with a du-rag tied over his braids. The same way that it was not unlikely to hear the late Stuart Scott using his slang over the airwaves. Both were iconic symbols in pop culture. Both were iconic in sports. Both were only being themselves. Sports will always have that professional white-collar aspect to it. In today’s world the sports industry has more of that barbershop feel. You know, that relatable feeling.
Professional sports are accepting to the millennial generation, a generation that makes pop culture what it is.
Michael Jordan started the signature sneaker era. His sneakers are continually being recycled to the public with price increases. It is all about who has the new Air Jordans. Truthfully speaking, considering his sneakers sell-out online and in stores in the matter of minutes. The point is, young millennials are the ones buying those sneakers. Young millennials are driving pop culture. Remember, a lot of them are the professional athletes that make up the NBA. So, nowadays, it is about who’s wearing the hottest sneakers on the court. It is essential for players to have the freshest kicks on the court even if they do not match their uniforms.
Sneakers are a big deal. Nice Kicks has a segment, Kicks On Court, that goes around interviewing players and snapping pictures during games, figuring out what athletes will wear on their feet for the upcoming game. It keeps going considering Bleacher Report has a popular “Kicks” tab.
It does not just stop at footwear especially for the NBA. The athletes’ walk from their team bus into the game arena might as well be a red carpet event. Fashion and style is a big part of sports. It is normal to see Russell Westbrook wearing loud, expensive designer clothing. Westbrook has improved his brand not only by his play on the court but by the clothes he wears off of it. He was named True Religion’s campaign creative director because of his unique fashion sense.
Russell Westbrook had the internet blowing up after rocking this outfit in a post-game press conference.
As fashion heavy as this generation is, it is easy to relate to the athletes in that sense. Even if someone may not follow sports, they can relate to Westbrook being that guy who wears the fancy clothes.
However, fashion is not the only relatable aspect of sports. We have all seen television shows like ESPN’s “First Take” revolutionize the way we view sports talk shows. When have we consistently seen rappers by the likes of Lil Wayne and Nelly make guest appearances on sports shows? They host some of the same rappers that we see court side at games. The same rappers that reference professional athletes in their songs. “Been Steph Curry with the shot, been cooking with sauce Chef Curry with the pot boy,“ as Drake said best. Stephen A. Smith brings that calm smooth attitude to the show and levels out the personality of his counterpart Skip Bayless.
The NBA and other professional sports are continuing to connect with pop culture. It is working quite well actually, but now it is making an even bigger impact than usual. Watch it continue to grow.