Heat notebook

Fashion choices of Miami Heat’s LeBron James come under fire

 
 
LeBron James wore a red sweater decorated with floral images and birds for his postgame news conference after the Heat's win over the Bucks on April 21, 2013.
LeBron James wore a red sweater decorated with floral images and birds for his postgame news conference after the Heat's win over the Bucks on April 21, 2013.
By Luisa Yanez / Miami Herald Staff

jgoodman@MiamiHerald.com

Last year it was the hipster glasses. This time around, it appears LeBron James is trying to make another postseason fashion statement.

For his postgame news conference after Sunday’s victory against the Bucks, James wore a red sweater decorated with floral images and birds. As expected, Twitter immediately exploded with jokes and wisecracks about James’ choice of attire.

“It had a little Hawaiian theme to it,” Dwyane Wade said. “But I liked the whole getup — the combination. It was … bravo. I give him two thumbs up on his outfit last night.”

James’ sweater seemed like a nod to Russell Westbrook, the guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder who has championed the thrift store style for some time. Westbrook took his look to a new level on for his postgame news conference Sunday when he wore a sleeveless leather top to the dais.

Wade, of course, is always one of the NBA’s most fashionably dressed stars.

“Fashion is … you can wear anything,” Wade said. “You can wear a leather coat in Miami. It doesn’t matter. [James] only had it on for a couple minutes, so it was just about the look.”

Heat reserve Shane Battier, slightly more fashionably conservative than the Heat’s stars, didn’t approve of James’ wardrobe choice, reminding reporters that sweaters are meant to be worn in autumn. Battier has described his style as “suburban-dad hot.”

“Shane and fashion … we can’t really take Shane’s advice when it comes to fashion,” Wade said. “He doesn’t get a say-so.”

Slowing Jennings

Limiting the Bucks’ fearless backcourt will be a point of emphasis for the Heat’s defense in Game 2 on Tuesday. Milwaukee guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis combined for 48 points in Game 1.

“You have to start with them,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They’re so dynamic off the dribble. The more comfort and the more times they’re able to get into the paint, the more the other guys get involved. But it’s a whole lot easier said than done. They’re both lightning quick.”

After his torrid first half Sunday, Jennings was limited to eight points in the final two quarters. Ellis, who had 22 points, finished strong, going 6 of 10 from the field in the second half for 13 points.

Jennings used a continuous stream of pick and rolls to generate offense, and Ellis did much of his damage with long two-pointers. The Bucks’ nine other players combined to score 39 points.

An injured wrist appeared to limit Milwaukee forward Ersan Ilyasova, who scored two points on 1-for-7 shooting from the field. Reserve sharpshooter J.J. Redick was 1 of 6 from the field.

Fan favorite

Chris Andersen, who made his postseason debut for the Heat on Sunday, is quickly turning into a favorite among Heat fans, who celebrated Andersen’s dunks during Game 1 by flapping their arms. Andersen’s nickname is “Birdman.”

“He has an impact every single time he plays,” Spoelstra said. “You love to see the fans show gratitude and reward him for that effort because the overwhelming majority of Chris’ plays do not show up on a boxscore — the same with Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier.

“But without them it’s tough because they make so many winning plays, and that’s what it’s about. We’re grateful to have him. I think he’s grateful to be a part of this situation, and right now it fits.”

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