We’re well into the meat of the NBA playoffs. All eyes are on LeBron James’s continued, depressing dominance, and the NBA drops this sartorial bombshell on us—after years of hideous Christmas Day alternate uniforms, 2015 will see some damn fine unis. They’re allegedly inspired by old Christmas cards, but they look a lot more like the classier jerseys of yore.
It’s the sort of neo-vintage gear you expect from the duo—harking back to the days of Larry Bird and your stint in Little League baseball. There’s the sweat shorts, the ringed tanks and a few baseball tees perfectly timed for spring training, amidst throwback items like a 1989 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. And then there’s the perfect satin warm-up jacket for riding the pine or the uptown express. In fact, there’s so much good stuff, we thought we’d pick out our favorites.
Your days of organized sports are most likely behind you. (Save for an office softball league walk-on or two.)
But that doesn’t mean you can’t relive the glory with a few hours of roundball, pigskin or doubles squash every so often. And with ballparks, courts and fields everywhere alive with the spirit of summer, there’s no better time than now to get out there and mix it up a little this weekend.
Nadal, Federer, Murray: all great tennis players who’ve been battling it out for the title of Wimbledon Champion over the past week, with varying results. (Chin up, guys.) And all preceded by the oft-forgotten Romanian tennis boss, Ilie Năstase.
Though his luck at the All England Club wasn’t that great, either.
In fact, although he was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991, Năstase never won that title himself. But that’s not to say he’s without his share of accomplishments. So to give the man his due, we’d like to bestow upon him Kempt Icon status, our own highest titular honor.
As NCAA basketball finishes up conference play and begins barreling toward March Madness, we’ve been noticing a few less suits and a few more polo shirts barking from the sidelines this season. And even a few coaches going for the tie-less suit look. And it’s got us longing for the era of dapper sidelines.
The one John Wooden coached in.
Coach Wooden is not only iconic because of his storied tenure at UCLA, his championship streaks, his best-selling pyramid of success aphorisms—he was also, quite literally, an icon for the well-dressed man of a bygone era: always in a gray or navy suit, a tie and thick-rimmed glasses (with the occasional net draped around his shoulders or his arms sternly crossed). It was the same no-nonsense approach that he took to every task. Sure, maybe the tie widths veered a bit Anchorman-ish in the ’70s, but he still kept that uniform intact. Until he gained a penchant for bolo ties in his later life—a move we might borrow for our octogenarian days.
Everyone knows why teams dust off vintage uniforms: to sell more merchandise. Everyone also knows that the average NFL club is worth $1.14 billion. Which is why we’re respectfully begging NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, for that matter) to put an end to this nonsense.
The Hottest Tour Guide in Israel. From chic shops to secret beaches to her parents’ house, Bar Refaeli takes Vanity Fair, and now you, on a tour of her native Tel Aviv. Mazel tov. [Vanity Fair]
Abraham Lincoln Looks Like a Movie Star. The fate of human dignity is in the hands of Daniel Day Lewis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, stars of Spielberg’s eagerly anticipated feature, the trailer for which was released today. Esquire’s got the review. (Honestly.) [Esquire]
The Babe. (No, the Other One.) Grantland presents the remarkable tale of Nanci Donnellan, better known as “Fabulous Sports Babe,” the first lady of sports talk radio. (Though not married to Steve “The Schmooze” Somers.) [Grantland]
Your Ski Poles Just Got Greener... Two former World Cup alpine racers, tired of snowless ski seasons, developed state-of-the-art ski poles made from sustainable materials, including bamboo. (Wait, what?) [Gear Patrol]
Last week, our colleagues at UrbanDaddy SF turned us on to a curious summer sport from 1940s Brazil called “Frescobol.”
And to Merriment Hardware, founded by a group of gents trying to introduce the game to America by way of handsome reclaimed wood paddles and selvage denim park blankets.
Naturally, when news of any relatively unknown summer pastime comes along, we’re intrigued—especially when the sun-flecked beaches of the Southern Hemisphere are involved.
So we had the guys give us a few pointers on how the game is played—all you need is a sunny patch of land (park, beach, dead-end alley, et cetera), a willing partner (who may or may not be wearing a bikini) and these paddles.
An ungodly amount of ink has been spilled over Olympic style on and off the podium already—especially at the expense of US swimmer Ryan Lochte. (We’re inclined to give the guy a break—we should be rooting for our countrymen, not tearing them down.) But we couldn’t resist mentioning the gloriously tie-dyed 1992 Lithuanian Olympic basketball team, dubbed “The Other Dream Team.” Yes, that really is officially sponsored tie-dyed gear. Yes ,those are fanny packs. And yes, those are bronze medals they’re collecting in Barcelona—sharing the same podium as our fabled champs. The story is the stuff of legend (and a Sundance-darling film). A rag-tag bunch of athletes from a country only two years removed from the iron grip of the Soviet Union who were in danger of not even going to the Olympics until The Grateful Dead swooped in with a last-minute sponsorship (which should explain the tie-dye and dunking skeleton on their warm-ups) and who, against all odds, won a seemingly unattainable medal—uplifting a small, wayward nation in the process. This is exactly why we watch the Olympics every four years.
The 2012 Summer Games are finally here—which is also good news for the weekend warriors of the world.
Every four years, a new crop of high-tech sports gear is unveiled after spending the past four years in the lab. Luckily, most of it is made available to the public for any rec-league or interoffice battles happening on basketball courts, running tracks, archery ranges and badminton fields across this country. So we rounded up the best of the new stuff for your competitive–edge-advancing needs.