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Carmelo Anthony talks fashion, his love of hoodies, surprising hobbies of NBA players, and who he thinks will have a breakout season

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It was another hectic offseason for Carmelo Anthony.

Following an ugly playoff loss with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team granted Anthony permission to meet with other teams. He then got traded to the Atlanta Hawks, had his contract bought out, and then signed with the Houston Rockets.

Now, even with training camps and the NBA season bearing down, Anthony instead has been focused on a collaboration in time for Fashion Week called “Melo Made” between himself, Jordan Brand, and Rag and Bone.

Before the “Melo Made” show in New York City on Thursday, Business Insider was warned Anthony would not be in the mood for talking basketball. Instead, Anthony sat down to talk about his collaboration, fashion, the hobbies of NBA players — and a little bit of basketball.

Carmelo Anthony has not even thought about the NBA season yet. David Zalubowski/AP

Scott Davis: Can you explain to me your goal with the Melo Made collaboration — what your inspiration was, how you chose the brands, etc?

Carmelo Anthony: Well, it was a little bit difficult choosing the brands, but I just wanted to choose brands that were kinda at the moment, inspiring to me at the time, and kinda who I had relationships with. So all the brands from Rag and Bone. Always had a long relationship with them — 7, 8 years. Rochambeau, when I met with [founder] Laurence [Chandler], something just clicked. It was a natural energy between us. And then Goorin Brothers, I love hats, those style of hats and that brand and company and what they stand for. Been around for so long. Just the culture that’s been around that. And then Famous Nobodys is mine. So I just wanted to incorporate all that under one roof.

Davis: Where does fashion rank for you in your off-court hobbies? I know you have several.

Anthony: It’s top of the line. Because for me, it’s something, I don’t have to go by the typical fashion world timeline or calendar or schedule. I can just be creative and do capsules and collaborations and just drop it whenever we wanna drop it. I don’t have to say, “Okay, we gotta do this, and it’s gotta come out by January or March or we gotta make it by Fashion Week.” Whenever the line is ready, then that’s when the time is right.

Davis: What’s an essential piece of clothing for a man’s closet?

Anthony: Gotta have a good pair of jeans, for sure, gotta have a good pair of denim. And you gotta have a nice overcoat. A nice jacket is essential.”

Carmelo Anthony’s love of hoodies has turned into an NBA meme. J Pat Carter/Getty

Davis:Hoodie Melo” has gotten a lot of attention. If you had to make a new piece of clothing fashionable what would it be?

Anthony: Well it would still be a hoodie. You can do so much with hoodies, from fabric to textures. You can just do so much with hoodies.

Davis: The hoodies aren’t even like an ongoing joke or anything, then. You really love them.

Anthony: It’s not an ongoing joke. It was a natural fit with the joke, because of my love for hoodies. It was very natural.

Davis: When you come back to New York, what’s your top place for shopping?

Anthony: My closet [laughs]. I think for me, it’s just a matter of, just getting a bunch of stuff and seeing what I feel at that moment. I’m not running to a specific store or anything. It’s just how I feel at that moment, what I feel, and then I’ll go from there.

Davis: Who’s the best dresser in the NBA?

Anthony: That’s kind of a wide-range question because you have people that say they’re the most fashionable, people that say they’re the best dressers, and then people who just dress, who just wear clothes. It’s a wider range.

And not to just not answer your question, but I think now, guys throughout the NBA are starting to just kind of take advantage of those moments. The fashion moments, walking to the games. People are looking at us to see what’s the new trends or what’s going on or what should they wear, what should they not wear. So you look at some people and say, “I’m not gonna wear that.” Then you look at some people and say, “I like that. I wanna wear that.”

Davis: You were teammates with Russell Westbrook for a year. What’d you make of his outfits?

Anthony: He’s a very fashionable person. He’s somebody who kinda has his own style. He don’t look anywhere else for inspiration. It’s what he feels at that moment, and that’s what he’s gonna do.

LeBron James made a fashion statement with this outfit, according to Carmelo Anthony. Lachlan Cunningham/Getty

Davis: LeBron James wore that suit with the shorts during the Finals. What’d you make of that? Was it a good look?

Anthony: That was the Tom Brown outfit, right?

Davis: Maybe? I think he wore it Game 1 of the Finals.

Anthony: Yeah. I mean, so that’s another trend. You start that. It’s something that he felt at that moment, like, “This is a statement I wanna make in the fashion world.” And he did that.

Davis: Who’s the worst dresser in the NBA?

Anthony: There’s a lot of them [laughs].

Davis: Can you call them out?

Anthony: No, I would never do that [laughs].

Davis: Beyond basketball, what would your Rockets team be best at? Like, would it be another sport, would it be best-dressed or something?

Anthony: I think it would be fashion, for sure. I think it would be fashion. We have a lot of guys on that team who’s very fashion forward. Who love fashion, who go to shows, who love to shop, who love to just dress and be fashionable.

Carmelo Anthony says NBA players love showing off new clothes before and after games. Matthew Stockman/Getty

Davis: A re there any teammates you’ve had whose off-court interests surprised you?

Anthony: No, I don’t think there’s one teammate, but I think kinda the off-court interests, you’d be surprised at how many NBA players love to play instruments. In the hotel rooms, they play guitars. So that, for me, was a surprise. I love music, but to see people actually kinda off the court, in the rooms, playing guitars. I wouldn’t have ever thought that … I’m just more intrigued at the fact that I see a 6-8, 6-9, 7-footer in their room playing a guitar.

Davis: Moving to basketball, you’ve got a new team, new system — what can you do to fit in with the Rockets?

Anthony: I don’t know at this point. Like, I haven’t even wrapped my mind around that now because it’s dealing with this, and offseason and family and friends and trying to enjoy it. So once I get into kinda training camp, then my mind will switch quickly.

Davis: You’ve been playing pickup games with a lot of other players. Has anybody stood out to you? Anybody that’s impressed you or could be poised for a breakout season?

Anthony: Yeah, me. I’m very impressed with myself [laughs].

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