Known for soaring above the rim, basketball players have been making sartorial statements lately with eyeglass rims. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dwyane Wade and LeBron James of the Miami Heat have made a geek-chic runway out of NBA Finals press conferences with thick non-prescription glasses and nerdy frames without lenses. Durant ups the scholarly bit even more by often wearing a school backpack.
It’s tempting to scoff at these fashion choices, since James went from high school to the pros, and none of the other above players spent more than two years in college. But this fad has an upside. While no one claims it was a conscious intention, Wade told American Public Media’s “Marketplace” that the glasses end up sending the message that “it’s cool to be smart, it’s cool to be educated.” If Durant’s backpack and D-Wade’s glasses make life easier for teens who really have to wear thick glasses, or make it OK for a young basketball fan to be a nerd, this fashion may offer more than meets the eye.