Westbrook: Basketballs and baskets of clothes

NEW YORK (AP) — Go shopping with powerhouse basketball player Russell Westbrook — whose colorful style has made headlines outside of sports — and you’ll probably be surprised by his favorite section: the sale rack.

The Oklahoma City Thunder star player roams around Barneys New York Inc. on Madison Avenue, and when I suggest a fitted dark blue leather jacket, the point guard reacts: “No, ‘cause I know it costs like $3,000.”

Westbrook said he’s not going to buy the most expensive clothes just because he can afford it. “I may look at it, see how much it costs and then decide if I’m going to get it or not.”

The Long Beach, Calif.-born athlete said he did think about price points when collaborating with Barneys for his new line, Westbrook-XO-Barneys New York. It launched in stores and online Thursday, and includes pieces from Jordan, Marcelo Burlon County of Milan, Naked & Famous, Want Les Essentiels de la Vie and more.

“Definitely. That was a big thing,” he said about deciding prices for the line. “But also, if it’s in Barney’s … it’s got to be higher than your normal (price).”

Westbrook, 25, said other companies approached him about collaborating on a fashion line, but explained, “There’s no better place than Barneys.”

It’s no surprise fashion houses want to cash in on the Westbrook brand. His style has made noise, from his polka dots to colored rimmed glasses to knee-high fitted pants. On Wednesday night at the ESPY Awards, where Westbrook was named best comeback athlete after returning from three knee operations in a year, host Drake imitated the athlete by wearing a bright yellow vest, bowtie and green pants.

Westbrook said he wasn’t really into fashion as a child, though he admired his mother’s style. \

“It’s something that kind of happened for me over time,” he said.

“I am obviously able to buy more things I like and spend a little more money. It happened for me in that way and kind of took off from there.”

Does he consider himself the most stylish guy in the NBA?

“I just feel like I have my own style,” he said with a laugh. “A lot of guys have stylists and things, which I don’t. … It’s not something that I have to do, it’s something I like to do.”

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