When Young started the brand, in 2017, the most popular post-playing job for NBA players might have been becoming a broadcaster, or maybe getting into coaching. In recent years, players like Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant have begun dipping their toes into the world of venture capital. But Young, along with fellow NBA vet Brandon Jennings, who owns a streetwear brand called Tuff Crowd, have dressed for the job they wanted—and gotten it. The NBA isn’t just the most stylish sports league on the planet, it’s also the only one producing fashion designers.
For Jennings and Young, brand-building was a way to capitalize on their reputations as cult-loved—if not All-Star—players. “It’s yours. It’s something that you own,” Jennings said, when asked about starting Tuff Crowd. “We in the NBA, right? We have a lot of money. Say a guy makes 15, 20 million dollars. Your financial adviser is going to tell you, ‘Just invest in this company,’ or ‘Just do this and do that.’ You’re not really gonna be an owner of anything yet.”
Young agreed—saying that, at the very least, players should take ownership of their brand through personalized merch. “People are making money off of it, [so] why not do it yourself?” Young said. “Tyler Herro should have some dope ‘Hero’ merch. That’ll sell, especially during the playoffs. Instead of Nike making all the money.”
The Detroit Pistons are the latest team to take a step into fashion, launching a new DETail Threads private label that looks to build on the team’s dedication to the city of Detroit. Streetwear has been at the center of sports properties’ efforts to connect with fans, often through nostalgia — like SI’s vintage magazine cover apparel and Adidas’ “Reverse Retro” NHL jerseys — or to engage with the local community, as the Cleveland Cavaliers have done through their in-house brand, “The Land Collective.”
And so while he awaits the beginning of free agency—he couldn’t yet say where he expects to be playing next season, but emphasized how much he’s enjoyed his three seasons in Toronto—Ibaka is launching his first fashion collaboration with the Canadian company Nobis. The nine-piece capsule, which will be available starting November 19, includes some of the brand’s familiar, technically minded outerwear, but is sprinkled throughout with the idiosyncratic touches that Ibaka described as the heart of how he gets dressed.
Kuzma teamed up with Puma, the brand he signed an endorsement deal with in 2019, to design the shirt, which features the message “VOTE!” on the chest. Following its debut at the Finals, the black, limited-edition “Puma x Kuzma Vote” T-shirt will be released on Oct. 13. The brand has also committed to donating $25,000 on Kuzma’s behalf to the American Civil Liberties Union to support the organization’s campaign to protect and expand the freedom to vote.
Front Office Sports: In January, the NBA and Louis Vuitton announced a multiyear partnership which will include a capsule collection designed by Virgil Abloh. As part of the deal, the Larry O’Brien Trophy will be presented in a Louis Vuitton trunk.