Explaining LeBron’s Tiny Purse

On Sunday morning, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade walked through Staples Center and proceeded to shake up the interwebs with another joint fashion statement. Yes, Wade’s outfit was abnormal for the standard NBA player (white pants, spray-on copper shirt, big purse) but at this point, that’s par for the course for the Dade County Diva. What stole the show, however, was his 6-foot-8 man-child teammate, who was carrying around a bag the size of a cannoli.

Much was made about LeBron’s latest fashion decision, and many speculated about what he lugged around in that leather Ziploc. Some of my guesses:

  • A single, monogrammed Q-tip
  • A set of jacks
  • A full facial set
  • Loose mayonnaise
  • An even smaller bag

Unfortunately, because Captain and Tennille LeBron and Wade are such easy targets for all of the hate, the beauty in their fashion decisions is often lost in the shuffle. I know “beauty” might not be the word most people would use to describe two grown men, riding on the back of a golf cart, looking like a set of pastel macarons, but trust me, it is. Their entire history of presenting themselves as BFFs for the public’s eyes (once they figured out the easiest way to ditch Chris Bosh with the classic “Yeah man, meet us in the lobby in 15, we’ll be playing hide and seek”) has made one fact very clear: These two multimillionaire superstars plan their outfits. All of them.

To understand and appreciate how awesome and hilarious that is, you have to think back to your prom. As someone that went to four proms (shout-out to the no-cut policy), some of my fondest memories were figuring out what my crew was going to wear on that annual anticlimactic night. Who was going navy suit, who was going black suit, and would this be the year one of us tried the white suit with the cane, top hat, and cummerbund? Are we doing vests or no vests? Who’s picking up the corsages? Do these triple-pleated pants make my thighs look big? Yes, these were the conversations had between teenage boys trying to look fly for their dates, but most important (in true bromance fashion), this was a classic case of guys trying to look great as a crew. And presently, when I look back at my high school days, I’m not focused on images of youthful romance on a spiral staircase. Quite the contrary, I’m sitting here, attempting to print Facebook pictures so I can frame all the coordinated outfit posse shots from a decade ago.

This mentality, this mind-set, this adolescent approach to presenting oneself is the way Martini and Rossi LeBron and Dwyane seem to approach each appearance, and we should all be thrilled that it’s happening. Yes, it’s a spectacle, and yes, they’re very attention-hungry, but they think it’s awesome and I’m beginning to agree. Considering the different fads of NBA fashion over the past 15 to 20 years, the fact that conversations like the following are happening says a lot about where the league (and machismo in general) has gone over the years:

LeBron: What bag you thinking about tomorrow, D-Wade?
Dwyane: Thinking the big one, King James. You know, the one that kind of looks like a bowling ball bag.
LeBron: Oh, that black purse jumpoff?
Dwyane: Yeah yeah, that one.
LeBron: Aight, I got an idea. You go big, and I’ll go crazy small. I got this real small bag, it’s like a roll of quarters with two handles, Im’a break that one out on these fools.
Dwyane: Good look.
LeBron: You the man.
Dwyane: Naw, fam. You the man.

No, I’m not tapping their phones, reading their texts, or monitoring their joint Pinterest page, but it had to have gone something like that. I know. I’ve been there. It’s embarrassing, but it’s also great. I’m excited for them to look back at this stage in their lives the same way I look at my high school photos, with a sense of horror and pride. But for now, I’m just having a ball watching it all carry out. You should, too.

Filed Under: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Miami Heat, NBA, Rembert Browne

Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert