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post Thu 13 Sep 2018, 04:12
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P.J. Tucker wasn’t a high draft pick and actually is undersized by NBA standards.

At 6-foot-6 Eli Manning Jersey , the Houston Rockets forward’s intensity and defensive grit helps him overachieve against taller opponents on a nightly basis.

Off the court, Tucker also defies the norm.

He has spent years curating a wardrobe that has helped his style ascend to the upper echelons of fashion.

Tucker was in the Balmain store in Paris during this year’s NBA All-Star break when the manager told him there was a special one-of-a-kind piece that would be perfect for him.

When Tucker first laid eyes on the beaded haute couture jacket at the French luxury fashion house he loved it, but was certain it wouldn’t fit his muscular 245-pound frame.

It did.

”Everybody in fashion knows of those must-have pieces where you’re just like: `I’ve got to have it,”’ Tucker said. ”And I had to have this.”

Then he learned the price of the black and gold open front jacket: $25,000.

”I had no idea. I was like: `Oh all right, that’s cool,” he said with a nervous laugh. ”I was at the point of no return.”

But before Tucker could wear his most expensive fashion investment, he learned there were actually two of his ”one-of-a-kind jacket” when he saw NBA super fan and eccentric 78-year-old millionaire James Goldstein sporting the same piece while courtside at a game .

”He came up and told me he has the same jacket,” Goldstein told The Associated Press on Wednesday while wearing a different Balmain jacket. ”I couldn’t believe it.”

A stunned Goldstein didn’t realize that Tucker was so into fashion.

”I’ve never seen him except on the basketball court so I don’t know how he dresses otherwise,” Goldstein said. ”But when he told me he had that jacket, one that both of us thought we each had a unique jacket that nobody else had, I gained a new respect for him.”

Tucker has also gained his share of respect on the court.

He scored a playoff career-high 22 points Wednesday night in a win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. He is an integral part of the Rockets’ success with his ability to shoot the 3 and hold his own in the low post.

But Tucker had to work to find an NBA home. He wasn’t a highly regarded draft pick out of Texas; Toronto selected him in the second round in the 2006 draft. He spent just one year in the NBA before heading to Europe to play.

It was during those 4 1/2 years overseas that he started taking his fashion seriously.

”It wasn’t a moment,” he said. ”It was just being there. It started out with suits. Seeing European guys wear suits was incredible. And it wasn’t all like the big fashion house expensive suits, it was like simple stuff but the way the older men dressed in Europe just absolutely amazed me.

”In Italy K'Waun Williams Jersey , in France the way the older men dressed was incredible.”

Like his game on the court, his fashion wasn’t immediately embraced back in the United States.

”I would come home in the summertime and people would look at me like: `What in the world does he have on,”’ said Tucker, who breezed into the room to talk with AP about fashion with a coffee cup in one hand, two clothing bags draped over the other arm and a large Louis Vuitton duffel bag slung over his shoulder.

Tucker, who describes his style as adventurous and spontaneous, beamed while explaining that he assembled three looks for the interview. The first was what he calls his ”anywhere outfit,” a floral-print short-sleeved button-down Dries Van Noten shirt with coordinating cream-colored pants from the same designer, and Nike Air Max 1 shoes with a brown suede accent on the toe.

His summer ensemble featured a blue and white striped Balenciaga shirt adorned with piece of striking yellow fabric that ran down half the length of the back and white Alexander McQueen trousers. He finished off that look with the impossible-to-get Off-White X Nike Air Force 1 shoes.

But the star of the collection was his final look: a made-to-measure plaid Gucci two-button suit with cropped pants, which he wore without a shirt.

”It’s really like a 70s suit, with the large cuffs, with the huge lapels,” he said. ”Nobody would wear that a year or two ago but now I love it.”

He said there’s nothing he won’t wear and scoffs at people who think he should limit his wardrobe because he’s such a big guy.

”People get so scared to try things,” he said. ”I think the way you dress should be fun. Wearing stuff that people don’t normally wear or wouldn’t particularly think is their style Mitchell Schwartz Jersey , I love that.

”I think that’s fun and I think everybody should do it.”

When he debuted his Balmain jacket before Game 1 of the conference finals, which he paired with black skinny jeans and Saint Laurent boots, not everyone was a fan.

”’You’re like a bull fighter in the jacket,”’ he said his teammates told him. ”Maybe. I love it though. It’s funny.”

One person who’s totally on board with Tucker’s style is teammate James Harden. The pair often arrive at the same time and have turned arriving at the arena into a mini fashion show .

”He loves walking in the arena with the swaggiest `fit,” Harden said. ”That’s what he does and I’m here for it. I have his back 1,000 percent.”

While Tucker doesn’t mind that pictures of his p Even the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs is excited to see what Patrick Mahomes II can do.

Clark Hunt doesn't seem worried about putting too much pressure on his young quarterback, either.

The chairman and most visible face of the ownership family said after Saturday's training camp session at Missouri Western State University that he's looking forward to seeing Mahomes under center when the Chiefs open their preseason schedule Thursday night against Houston.

He's is eager for what the second-year pro can do for seasons to come, too.

"There's a lot of excitement here in Kansas City and really around the country about Patrick. He is a young man with a lot of skills, has a very high ceiling," Hunt said. "He's going through the process in learning what it means to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. That learning process will continue during the preseason and I'm sure once we get to the regular season."

Mahomes is taking over on a full-time basis from Alex Smith, who was traded to Washington despite the best year of his career. And the fact that Kansas City is pinning its hopes on its first homegrown quarterback in a generation has energized an already fervent fan base.

Season-ticket sales are robust, and there were about 6,000 fans at practice on Saturday.

"It's very exciting for the franchise from a long-term perspective," Hunt said. "If you can develop your own quarterback who can play at the top of the league Jason Taylor Jersey , you can create an opportunity over the course of a decade to win a championship, and that's what we hope Patrick does for us."

No pressure, kid.

Hunt has also noticed what many others have this offseason: Chiefs coach Andy Reid has an extra bounce in his step, a byproduct of the fun he's having working with a new, young quarterback.

"I know that's a hard thing to imagine when you're talking about Andy," Hunt said in his annual training camp availability, "but truthfully he seems energized. And that goes all the way back to the preseason, the chance to take a quarterback and mold him, something he's had a lot of success at."

In other news, Hunt declined to discuss the dispute between the league and its players when it comes to protesting during the national anthem. "There's really nothing to report," Hunt said. "Until the league tells us what the policy is, there's nothing really to talk about."

Hunt did say he's spoken to the Chiefs individually and collectively about social justice initiatives, and that the organization was willing to provide human resources and financial resources to help players make a difference with causes that they care about.

"That's not something new for the Chiefs. It's something that's been going on here in Kansas City since my dad brought the team here in 1963," Hunt said. "I've challenged the players to go out there and make a difference Marcus Gilchrist Jersey , and there's so many that have a great heart and want to spend the time."

Hunt also said the Chiefs are content with using Missouri Western as their training camp base, even though the majority of NFL franchises now hold camp at their usual practice facility.

Hunt and Reid both like the old-school idea of team-building that occurs at camp, even though it's only an hours' drive from Kansas City. Missouri Western has also built and improved its facilities to the point they rival most major colleges and professional franchises.

He also praised the work done by general manager Brett Veach, who has made several controversial moves since taking over last year. Among them was dealing talented but temperamental cornerback Marcus Peters to the Rams, a clear attempt at improving the clubhouse culture.

"One thing we really care about as a franchise is the culture and character of the team," Hunt said. "That's something very important to Brett. As he brought in players in free agency and the draft, he made sure those players would be positive contributors to the character of the football team."

NOTES: OLs Cam Erving (knee) and Eric Fisher (shoulder) did not practice, nor did LBs Reggie Ragland (knee) and Anthony Hitchens (hamstring). None of the injuries to the four starters is thought to be serious. ... CB Keith Reaser (quad), LB Tanoh Kpassagnon (heel) and FS Leon McQuay (hamstring) were limited in practice. It's unclear if any will play in the preseason opener.

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