CLEVELAND -- On Wednesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers' official Twitter account released a hype video titled 'Suited & Undisputed,' a nod to the team's unique sense of pre-game fashion, particularly on the road.
In each of their first five road games of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, the Cavs have arrived at the arena wearing custom Thom Browne suits, which have been believed to be a gift from LeBron James. As it turns out, however, the architect behind the Cavs' pregame ritual wasn't actually James or even a current member of the Cleveland roster. Rather, it was former Cavs guard Dwyane Wade who spearheaded the concept, before he was traded to the Miami Heat at the NBA trade deadline.
Cleveland center Tristan Thompson made the revelation on the latest episode of the Road Trippin' podcast with former Cavs forward Richard Jefferson and Fox Sports Ohio sideline reporter Allie Clifton.
"It was originally D-Wade's idea. It was D-Wade's stylist and him. D-Wade said, 'Hey guys, Thom Browne wants to make you guys some suits to wear,'" Thompson said. "So once D-Wade gets traded, I guess the stylist reaches out to [Cavs employee Ernie] Ramos and says, 'Hey, they still want to do the suits for y'all.' Of course, we're the Cavaliers, right? [Laughs]."
As Thompson went on to explain, the idea behind the suits -- which retail for roughly $3,000, per Browne's website -- was to increase team camaraderie at a time when it matters most.
"What it is is a way for when we're on the road, you know some guys like to wear sweatsuits and everyone's fashion or dress taste is a little different," the seventh-year center said. "It's so no one feels like they're being out-showboated."
"Like everyone's together," Jefferson interjected.
"Yeah, it's like a uniform thing," Thompson said.
Jefferson, now a member of the Denver Nuggets who is helping out on the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast team throughout the playoffs, went on to joke about some of the criticism the Cavs' matching outfits have received.
"People are like, 'Oh, it looks like Bron's is really tailored but then so-and-sos,' and I was like, 'Well dude, not everybody's got the body type for a suit. Like, I love Big Perk [Kendrick Perkins], but everybody's body's different. I love Perk, but at the end of the day, some people are built like a mannequin and some are built like an hourglass."
Having completed their sweep of the Toronto Raptors, the fourth-seeded Cavs now await the winner of the ongoing series between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers. And with both teams laying claim to a higher seed than the fourth-ranked Cleveland, when the Cavs do return to action in the Eastern Conference Finals in either Boston or Philadelphia, they'll once again do so dressed for success.