Some of the world’s hottest professional athletes have two things in common: they’re uber-fashionable and they’re Texans.
When they’re not topping scoring titles or best-of lists, San Antonio Spurs' Rudy Gay and Houston-based stars James Harden, Russell Westbrook, P.J. Tucker (all three Houston Rockets), and Deandre Hopkins (Houston Texans) are frequently mentioned among pop culture’s most stylish. Now, the flashy fivesome landed on Sports Illustrated’s coveted Fashionable 50.
Shockingly, no athletes from fashion-conscious Dallas made the cut.
Featured in the July 29-August 5, 2019 issue of Sports Illustrated, the Fashionable 50 list was selected by a panel of stylists, fashion editors and executives, and other influencers across the sports and fashion industries.
The issue breaks down the field into categories, including “Icons,” “Street Style Stars,” “Trendsetters,” and "Rising Stars." The five Texans fall evenly across those categories.
Rudy Gay: Rising Star
San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay is a towering presence on and off the court, which is precisely why, says Sports Illustrated, his bold sartorial choices make him one of this year's rising stars. "The NBA style scene is saturated with fashion-forward big men, but 6’8” Spurs forward Rudy Gay has differentiated himself with trendy fits and vibrant patterns and colors," SI writes.
Russell Westbrook: Icon
Houston’s newest Rocket is well known as a fashion plate. “It’s hard to predict what the NBA’s style trailblazer and self-proclaimed Fashion King will wear next, but that surprise factor and fearlessness are exactly what make Russell Westbrook a style icon,” says the publication. Westbrook’s pre-and-post-game attire gets a nod, as does his presence in the streets of Paris during Fashion Week and his “Why not?” approach to dressing.
James Harden: Icon
One of the NBA’s most prolific players and scoring champs has an equally splashy fashion game. Sports Illustrated notes that for the 2018-19 season, the Rockets guard carefully planned his daring and dashing ensembles, pairing his signature beard with everything from bright floral prints to neon suits and more. His May 2018 cover shot for GQ is one for the books.
DeAndre Hopkins: Trendsetter
Sports Illustrated claims that the Houston Texans star wide receiver “may look to Pharrell for some fashion inspiration (okay...),” but the Texans wide receiver “has a unique, enviable style all to his own.” The man with arguably the best hands in the National Football League gets props for his mixing of “luxurious and intricate designer pieces with more casual options from retailers like ASOS with ease.”
P.J. Tucker: Trendsetter
When the Rockets forward enters an NBA arena, he’ll likely be seen sporting a fresh pair of kicks (and holding a pair, too) and a killer outfit featuring bright colors and bold patterns, says the publication. The gritty, energetic Rockets role player has no problem discussing his style — even referring to himself in the third person.
“It’s hard to say what makes up PJ’s style,” says Tucker about Tucker. “I think it’s just originality more than anything — putting things together that someone else wouldn’t do. I like to experiment.” He’s especially fond of pairing “different clothes that might not go together.”
Honorable mention: Chris Paul — Street Style Star
Paul, a former Rocket and Houstonian, was just traded away to the Oklahoma City Thunder for his fellow style icon, Westbrook. He is recognized for his “highly-coveted and comfortable dressed-up looks, mixing formal suits with sneakers and adding in a special message or theme to every fit.”
The generous and gregarious Paul praises Westbrook, whom he’ll see a lot this coming NBA season on and off the court. “Russ has a clothing line, Honor the Gift. I wore some of his stuff during the season,” says Paul. “It's so important for us to support each other.”
So which sports celeb tops the Sports Illustrated list as most fab? Tennis star Serena Williams, the cover athlete of the "Fashionable 50" issue, was named the most fashionable athlete of 2019.