The era of the peacock pro-basketball player is upon us. Having an off-court look is as important as on-court play, stylists are de rigueur and a player's presence in the front row of fashion shows no longer turns heads. Since the City of Angels is now a bona fide two-team town, we thought it time to take a look at how the
Clippers: Not fireworks worthy but maybe seaworthy. The Los Angeles Clippers home uniform is old-school patriotic white with red and blue trim, the away version predominantly red with pops of blue and white.
But this season, as part of the league's "pride program," the Clippers are hitting the court for seven Sunday home games in a new powder-blue "nautical pride" uniform with short-sleeved (instead of tank) jerseys and the team's initials, L.A.C., spelled out in maritime signal flags on the side panels of the shorts.
Lakers: Hollywood royalty. The Los Angeles Lakers' purple and gold colors have a regal feel, with the team traveling in predominantly purple uniforms and usually hosting at home in gold — making them the only
This season, the Lakers have trotted out a pride uniform of their own. Dubbed "Hollywood nights," it's black with purple and gold trim that calls to mind the old black-and-yellow "bumble bee" California license plates.
Advantage: Lakers. Not just because of the four-uniform options versus the Clippers' three, but because the color and the sleeve length of the Clips' Sunday blues make them look kind of like a cadre of pajama-clad grade-schoolers next to the Lakers' bad-boy bees.
With an aesthetic that could be called
Advantage: Clippers, thanks to Paul's enthusiastic embrace of style as self-expression — not to mention the selfies of color-coordinated outfits he occasionally posts to Instagram. And while the looks thelmselves may be the result of a little help (like many of the flashiest NBA players, he works with a professional stylist), that swagger and sense of adventure is all Paul — and gives him an edge over Bryant's off-court look, which is starting to look a little staid.
Clippers: Hardly hair-raising. Their namesake is a sailing ship, but the 2013-14 roster appears to be familiar with the business end of hair-cutting clippers too, hitting the floor as a relatively conservatively coiffed club that tends to keep things short and sweet above the neckline.
Lakers: A furry feast. Mohawk, faux hawk, high-top fade, corn rows — and those were just the hairstyles
Advantage: Lakers. When it comes to this town's tonsorial top dogs, there's no disputing who takes it — and by more than a hair.
Clippers: Paul again. While a number of Clippers have endorsement deals, it's Chris Paul's signature shoe with the Nike-owned Jordan brand that's the standout. The most recent version, the CP3.VII, dropped in early October and is described in press materials as "draw[ing] inspiration from East L.A. and the '80s of Paul's youth," with nods to car culture. The shoe is noted for perforated uppers, bold hues that include black, white and green, and colorful interiors that could well have been inspired by a harlequin hiding in a confetti factory.
Lakers: Kobe and Nike again. The most recent iteration of the Mamba's Nike kicks, the Kobe 9, was unveiled at the
Advantage: A "high-top that acts like a low-top"? Shoulder shrug. Nine bright red horizontal lines embroidered down the back of the heel to symbolize Bryant's Achilles tendon stitches? For that alone Kobe's kicks land in the winner's circle.