If you think back to LeBron James's high school days, you probably remember him like this: wearing an oversized jersey and shorts that swung below the knees. And when he first arrived in the NBA, James's Cleveland Cavaliers attire was closer to an XXL than a size large.
Perhaps that's why James's current slimmer-fitting jerseys and much shorter shorts have caused such a stir in this NBA season. It started with the home opener, when the Cavs busted out their wine alternate uniforms for the first time. Fans noticed how much tighter around his chest James's jersey was, and how short his shorts were—no longer below his knees but clinging above it. It happened again Wednesday, when the Cavs debuted their sleeved jerseys. The short shorts and form-fitting jersey were back.
Someone asked James about the fashion change, and his response was surprising. From Chris Haynes of cleveland.com:
"He had expressed to those close to him he wants to leave the baggy look behind and place a renewed emphasis on professional appearance when it comes to the size of his uniform as well as his pregame and postgame attire."
James knows he is a role model and that his influence over young athletes is immense. He apparently wants to use some of it to encourage younger players to start dressing more professionally, both on and off the court. It's a silent message of sorts, but it has no doubt reached the ears of even his youngest fans.
James is now 30 years old, married with three children. Could all of that factor in to his decision to eliminate "bagginess" from his pre-game and on-court attire? We don't know for sure, but like all decisions the King makes, there's more to his new fashion direction than meets the eye.
"I have a calling, man," James told cleveland.com. "Everything I do is for the people I love. I was just brought up that way."
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