The 17 Biggest Sports Style Moments Of 2013

Hear that? *cups right hand to ear and furrows brow, looking longingly into the distance* That’s the sound of 2013 slipping away, right through your fingertips. *WOMP WOMP* We hope we’ve been helping you rehash all the biggest and best moments in FASHUN that this year has had to offer (before whatever havoc you raise on New Year’s Eve officially erases it all from your memory), from everyone who went topless in 2013 to our favorite things that Kanye said. Now we’re recapping everything you might have missed from the world of sports, which saw its most style-conscious year yet. (Sadly, we had to leave out that time Dennis Rodman had all of the fun at Miami Swim Week.)


The 2013 LeBron Headband Game.
Photo: Getty Images

Once upon a time, there was a power forward named LeBron James who was rarely ever seen playing without his terrycloth headband. One day, during the sixth game of the 2013 NBA Finals, his Miami Heat played against the San Antonio Spurs and his headband fell off. What followed was one of LeBron’s greatest games of all time. It was henceforth known and written into the history books as the LeBron James No-Headband Game.


Victor Cruz was crowned “Most Stylish Athlete” at the 2013 Style Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

We often celebrate the NBA’s fashion-forward players like LeBron and Dwyane Wade, but the NFL as a whole is on the style come-up. Enter Victor Cruz. The New York Giants’ wide receiver was crowned “Most Stylish Athlete” at the 2013 Style Awards during New York Fashion Week, following in the footsteps of last year’s winner, New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist.


Versace is the official clothier of Real Madrid.
Photo: Getty Images

But the fashion community’s appreciation of athletes goes even deeper than awards. It was announced late this year that legendary fashion house Versace would be the official clothier of Spain’s Real Madrid, providing us with even more excuses to ogle Cristiano Ronaldo.


The bearded Boston Red Sox win the 2013 MLB World Series.
Photo: Sports Illustrated

Style isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the MLB, but the Boston Red Sox certainly made a move to change that this year with their attention to facial hair and World Series win. Nearly the entire team sported some kind of beard situation this season, and the look became iconic to the point of spawning slogans (“Fear The Beard”), individualized nicknames for face manes, and a bevy of fuzz-themed merch and sweepstakes.


Iman Shumpert, Norris Cole, and Nerlens Noel all have flat tops.
Photo: Getty Images

The dudes of the NBA are into grooming, too. They just tend to keep the fussing focused on their heads. 2013 brought the rise of the flat top (pun only sort of intended) to basketball, thanks to New York KnicksIman Shumpert, Miami Heat’s Norris Cole, and the Philadelphia 76ers’ new draftee Nerlens Noel. Time will tell if the trend (and their hair) will grow in 2014.


Iman Shumpert wears Jeremy Scott sneakers on the court and Nate Robinson wears Air Yeezy 2s.
Photo: Getty Images

Shump was a proponent of another major sports fashion moment this year: players wearing off-duty kicks on the court during games. Iman wore these Jeremy Scott x Adidas Originals streetball sneakers for a January 21 game against the Brooklyn Nets, one of his first times back on the court since his injury during the 2012 NBA Playoffs. Not long after, the Chicago Bulls’ Nate Robinson wore Air Yeezy 2s in a game. Yes, the sneakers Kanye designed that are absolutely not meant for ball. Needless to say, Robinson only wore them for one half and switched to athletic shoes for the second.


Cam Newton and his Superman cleats.
Photo: Getty Images

Apparently, the NFL is not as forgiving of experimentation with uniforms as the NBA, though. Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton has become well-known for his superhero cleats: Superman, Incredible Hulk, and Batman, all custom Under Armour joints that he co-designed. But strictly enforced uniform rules have kept him from wearing the colorful kicks during actual games. The New York Times reports that some other players, however, haven’t been as careful to skirt the rules and have been charged with some pretty hefty fines (e.g. Seattle Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch and New England Patriots’ Brandon Spikes, each with two counts of delinquent cleats, Chicago Bears’ Brandon Marshall with one, and Detroit Lions’ Louis Delmas with a single count of wearing the wrong socks).


The Hermes’ blue basketball.
Photo: Getty Images

Being fashionable in games would be a lot easier if major designers were recruited to update the various professional leagues’ uniforms and accessories. And judging from the bright blue basketball that Hermes put out this year, the French label might be a good place to start. A word of warning, though, designer items do often come with premium prices, so that might need to be negotiated down before we ever see a day with runway-ready jerseys and mesh shorts.


Anna Wintour and Russell Westbrook chat front row at NYFW.
Photo: Getty Images

This year, we were treated with a sighting of Anna Wintour sitting front row at a New York Fashion Week show with one of our favorite NBA players, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook. We know Anna has a soft spot for tennis, but in conjunction with her Knicks darlings, it seems Wintour has taken a shine to Russ, most likely thanks to his willingness to take fashion risks. We can’t say we disagree.


Kristin Cavallari at the NFL’s NYFW show.
Photo: Getty Images

But the influence of sports wasn’t relegated to the front row at Fashion Weeks. The NFL made its runway debut thanks to Laguna/Hills alumna Kristin Cavallari and a collaboration with Junk Food. The result was a collection of totally covetable, sideline-ready lady clothes, from mod minis to cute crop tops.


David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo model underwear.
Photo: H&M/Richard Chai

With jobs that automatically keep them in ideal physique, athletes are the perfect models. Especially for underwear. This year, not only did we get David Beckham shilling manties for H&M, but we ALSO got the CR7 Underwear Collection (and its very shirtless, brief-filled campaign) courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo and Richard Chai.


Tom Brady, spokesman for Uggs.
Photo: Uggs

Of course, not every athlete’s ventures into modeling are as naked successful. Take Tom Brady’s efforts for Uggs for Men for example. It’s like the polar opposite of those other footballers running around in tighty whities, amirite? To be fair, we’re sure Gisele gave Tom all the pointers and coached him on just the right angle to position that chiseled jaw, but man, even Tom Brady can’t make Muggs sexy.


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The NBA Playoffs post-game press conferences saw a lot of meticulously constructed ensembles, but the one podium ’fit we can’t get out of our heads is in a league of its own: this flannel and oversized denim look by Tim Duncan. Despite a widely discussed and documented dress code, Duncan is clearly just brimming with IDGAF. Listen, I never said this was a list of the best sports style moments.


Anthony Bennett shakes David Stern’s hand as the number one 2013 NBA Draft pick.
Photo: Getty Images

Duncan, in a way, is a kind of relic of the old style of the NBA, an era governed by Timbs, 59Fifty caps, and jerseys worn off the court. The 2013 NBA Draft showed what the newest generation of players has in store for the league’s fashion future: crisp suits with proper tailoring, unabashed pastels, POCKET SQUARES, and so much more gentlemanly goodness.


The Oakland Athletics’ throwback uniforms.
Photo: Getty Images

2013 also saw the resurgence of some pretty major throwbacks. Our favorite from any league of any sport is hands down this vested version of the Oakland Athletics green and gold. Rather than the classic short-sleeved silhouette that has become iconic of baseball jerseys, this A’s number, which the team wore for a game on July 27, features a sleeveless cut over a differently colored T-shirt with elbow-length sleeves.


Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins’ throwback uniforms were affected by NFL helmet rules.
Photo: Getty Images

As you probably discerned from the cleats fines, the NFL has some pretty strict uniform rules. This year, the league enacted a new rule banning alternate helmets in compliance with the NFL’s greater emphasis on concussion awareness. Unfortunately, limiting teams to one pre-approved helmet sort of throws a wrench in their throwback uniform plans, as the helmets are often a huge part of the retro look. IMHO, safety comes first over fashion, but we should note that some fans (namely those who root for the Redskins and Cowboys) have definitely had words to say about the rule and its effect on the throwback uniforms.


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