NBA

How Marvin Gaye Inspired Chris Paul to Unite His OKC Teammates in 1 Unexpected Way

Chris Paul isn’t known as the “Point God” for nothing. In his NBA career, Paul proves how impactful a point guard can be, averaging 18.5 points and 9.6 assists over 14-plus seasons. Yet recently, Paul made headlines for a generous act that may earn him the moniker “Style God.”

The NBA star bought suits for the entire Oklahoma City Thunder roster. The consummate leader, Paul wanted to use the gift as a way to bring his team together. So where did he get the idea of buying suits? The surprising answer lies in Paul’s admiration for one of the all-time great soul singers: Marvin Gaye.

Chris Paul ‘meets’ Marvin Gaye            

The inspiration for Paul’s decision to buy his teammates suits goes all the way back to the summer of 2008. The point guard was a member of the 2008 Olympic team.

During the squad’s first practice, long-time Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski showed the players a video of Marvin Gaye singing the national anthem at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game.

The video proved highly inspiring for the entire Olympic team — but Paul in particular. Fast forward 11 years and Paul found himself playing the video for friend and stylist Courtney Mays. According to QG, Mays pointed out Gaye’s iconic suit. This inspired Paul to give each of his teammates a custom-made suit to both pay homage to Gaye and cement team chemistry.

OKC’s designer suits

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Oh that’s clean boy.

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Once he decided to buy suits for his teammates, Paul had to decide where to have them made. He didn’t want to skimp on a gesture this big. In the end, he chose the famous Brooklyn-raised tailor Davidson Petit-Frere, who has a well-deserved reputation as a leading designer. He’s put his skills to work for stars like Jay-Z and Michael B. Jordan, reports GQ.

To ensure the highest-quality suits, Petit-Frere journeyed to Oklahoma City last October to measure each of the Thunder players and discuss their design choices with them.

No two suits came out exactly the same. Instead, each player chose the patterns, colors, and fits that best suited them. Giving his teammates the option to design their own suits was important to Paul. He wanted to ensure that everybody had the chance to have their own personal style reflected.

NBA elder Chris Paul

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder is congratulated by teammate Chris Paul
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is congratulated by OKC teammate Chris Paul | Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Over the course of his career, Paul has earned a reputation as a passionate and sometimes prickly player. In recent years, he’s increasingly morphed into a leader, using his experience to guide younger teammates. This year, in particular, Paul has embraced his role as basketball elder, passing down tips and real-world advice.

So, on one hand, Paul’s gift of suits can be seen as a natural outgrowth of his desire to bring his team together. On the other hand, it’s worth pointing out that not just any NBA player could afford to be so generous.

Paul is currently in the midst of a massive contract — one of the largest in the NBA. He’s taking in nearly $40 million this year, with even bigger paychecks to come in the two following years. 

On top of that, Paul has accumulated a significant amount of wealth over the course of his basketball career, through contracts, sponsorships, and savvy investing. Paul’s net worth currently stands at about $120 million and will only continue to grow in coming years.

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