It's The 2022 NBA Playoffs, Where Watches And Basketball Collide

0 comments

For many years, through the golden age of Bird and Magic, the NBA was a mirror to popular culture. The game has only gotten more popular since then. And these days, in many ways, pro basketball drives the culture. The way players dress and talk, the causes they support, and yes the watches they wear – all of these things influence millions of fans around the world. Even more so than actors on the red carpet, current and former NBA stars like LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are able to focus attention on particular pieces and brands. It's a trend we've watched and reported on at HODINKEE in earnest over the past decade-plus, and it shows no sign of slowing down.

two tone Tissot PRX with silver dial

Did you know Tissot is the Official Watch and Official Timekeeper of the NBA, the WNBA, and the NBA G League? Well, now you do. 

If you're at all familiar with the NBA season, you know that the season culminates in late May and early June. As we bide our time before Thursday, when Game 1 of the Finals tips off, we thought we'd revisit a few stories about the intersection of hoops and horology. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Although his team, the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks, were recently knocked out of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has proven to be a shrewd signing for Breitling. Image, Breitling

Leading the way are the players themselves. The two best in the history of the game – Michael Jordan and LeBron James – are both well-known watch lovers, with collections including some of the planet's most esoteric and in-demand pieces. A number of other top active and retired players, including David Robinson, Andre Iguodala, and J.J. Redick, have shared their collections with us on Talking Watches. 

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook was briefly a Zenith ambassador, in 2014. If anyone from the Lakers is reading this, it might be worth giving the good folks in Le Locle a call – it seems they have some experience in getting out of a Westbrook contract. 

Championship presentations, All-Star Games, Summer League, and even pre-game, on-court warm-up sessions have all provided ample watch-spotting opportunities, and we've even gone down the rabbit holes of  "NBA "starter watches," and of Space Jam: Legacy tie-in watches (not one ... not two... not three ... but four times!). And that's not even counting the various sponsorship deals out there. For instance, Tissot has been the Official Watch and Official Timekeeper of the NBA since the 2015 season, and the Swiss watchmaker also calls a number of NBA players, such as Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson, ambassadors.

Breitling, on the other hand, recently signed two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks to be part of its "squad" of ambassadors. And although he's now a horological free agent, LeBron repped Audemars Piguet through most of the 2010s, even collaborating on a special-edition Royal Oak Offshore in 2013.

Anthony Davis wearing an Apple Watch

It wasn't that long ago that the Lakers were championship contenders – in this story, Danny took a look at what was on Anthony Davis' wrist while warming up for Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals. Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images.

Featured Stories

I'm a die-hard Houston Rockets fan, so I'll never hesitate to bring up how Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon absolutely schooled David Robinson and the San Antonio Spurs in the 1995 Western Conference Finals, the same year the Spurs center was named league MVP. But that has nothing to do with the watch collection of "The Admiral," who was kind enough to sit down with our own James Stacey in 2018 in what has become one of my favorite episodes of Talking Watches to date. Robinson brings the horological heat, showing off everything from a chiming Ulysse Nardin, an F.P. Journe Resonance, and a Royal Oak Offshore QP that he wears while snorkeling. How cool is that?! Don't miss this one, seriously. 

I'll speak for the rest of the HODINKEE editorial staff when I say this, but I think we all have moments of jealousy when a particular story is pitched and put together by another writer on the team. That's how I feel about this 2020 piece by Danny that digs into how one particular watch, the Rolex Day-Date, has had an outsize presence on the wrists of NBA players for years. I would end up referencing this very story a number of times in my own deep dive into the history and influence of the Day-Date that I wrote up earlier this year.

LeBron James

What watch did LeBron break out after winning the NBA Championship in 2016 with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers? A Rolex Day-Date, naturally. And he's not alone – we've previously reported on how the Day-Date has become the quintessential power watch for NBA players of all types. Credit: David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON www.hodinkee.com

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
The cookie settings on this website are set to 'allow all cookies' to give you the very best experience. Please click Accept Cookies to continue to use the site.
You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered
ico-collapse
0
Top
ic-expand
ic-cross-line-top