When the Cleveland Cavaliers arrived at Bankers Life Fieldhouse before their Game 3 playoff matchup against the Indiana Pacers, they looked like a squad with a point to prove. The series was tied 1-1, and the reigning Eastern Conference Champion Cavs had yet to perform with any real bravado. When they strutted through the bowels of the arena on Friday, they did so in matching gray suits with high-water pants. They were sending a clear message: we’re a team on a mission, and we love Herman’s Hermits cosplay.
It was a bold move, one the Cavs failed to back up. They lost to the underdog Pacers and went down 2-1 in the series. Naturally, the entire Internet gleefully made fun of them for their ill-advised sartorial statement.
The suits were a present from LeBron James, who took his teammates to get them tailored a few weeks before the playoffs started. They are very fancy suits, as ESPN’s Dave McMenamin explains:
“The suits made by designer Thom Browne are the Classic Medium Grey Suit in Super 120’s twill. The uniform outfits also featured a white oxford shirt, a gray tie and a gray cashmere cardigan sweater. Players were also given black leather boots, overcoats and bags from the designer.”
You have to feel for the Cavs. There’s nothing worse than dressing up in matching cashmere cardigans with your buddies, only to have Bojan Bogdanovic drain three-pointers in your face all night long.*
It probably wasn’t the performance they had in mind when they buttoned their Thom Browne oxford shirts that morning. Still, the Cavaliers will not be deterred. Ahead of Game 4 on Sunday, they arrived at the arena sporting matching outfits yet again. This time, the suits were black.
According to the New York Times, the Cavaliers “intend to wear the suits for away games for the remainder of the postseason.” If those ensembles have already been paid for and delivered, then the Cavs better start playing better. No one wants a closet full of cursed, unworn suits.
Correction, April 23, 2018: This piece originally misidentified Bojan Bogdanovic as Bogdan Bogdanovic.