The Houston Rockets may be down 2-1 to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
But they’re also giving us two-for-one looks in the form of James Harden and P.J. Tucker’s outfits every night.
In case you have not been watching the conference finals (that’s a basketball playoffs thing), these outfits come to us direct from the N.B.A. runway (a.k.a. the tunnel to the locker room) and the postgame podium.
Kesha McLeod has been styling Harden for about a year — sending him ideas, going shopping with him and helping him choose outfits — and she is confident that he and Tucker have not been coordinating their outfits beforehand.
“It’s not something that’s planned,” Ms. McLeod said. “It shows how in sync their minds are.”
Being in sync is kind of a thing in the N.B.A., by the way:
Harden reminds Ms. McLeod of Serena Williams, another client, insofar as both athletes know what they like and enjoy taking risks. She also said that one of the reasons he wears a lot of color is that he doesn’t want to let his trademark beard blend in with a dark top.
Harden is a superstar and the presumptive winner of the Most Valuable Player Award for the 2017-2018 season. (Adidas, which sponsors him, has already made him a signature MVP shoe.) So his bold approach to his pregame looks makes sense.
But P.J. Tucker, the 33-year-old journeyman who joined the Rockets this season, has been out-dressing his superstar teammate, at least if you measure by who’s wearing the loudest, boldest stuff.
“Hes probably the most stylish player of the playoffs,” Lance Darrell, who comments on league style for TNT and NBATV, said of Tucker. (Mr. Darrell goes by the professional name Lance Fresh.)
“I love what P.J. is doing,” Ms. McLeod said.
The Rockets are in the middle of a tough series with the Warriors, and neither Harden nor Tucker was available to speak. But Tucker talked about his fashion sense with The Associated Press last week.
“People get so scared to try things,” he said. “I think the way you dress should be fun. Wearing stuff that people don’t normally wear or wouldn’t particularly think is their style, I love that.”
Does Harden feel upstaged by the 6-foot-6 forward when Tucker shines in a magenta suit, outrunning Harden’s comparatively tame millennial pink sweater? Nope.
“He loves walking in the arena with the swaggiest fit,” Harden told the A.P. “That’s what he does and I’m here for it. I have his back 1,000 percent.”
Mr. Darrell said that he could not remember another pair of players who consistently entered the arena in tandem. And in a league where there’s a clear hierarchy based on talent, he said that Harden’s willingness to walk in with Tucker was a testament to their support for each other on and off the court.
“They kind of want to be known as the most stylish duo in the league,” Mr. Darrell said.
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