Swag can be defined in an almost infinite number of ways. It is an abstract term taken by some to mean confidence, skill or style. Most abstract concepts need to be applied in a consistent manner in order to have any relevance, but swag can’t be boxed in like that. It has to be different. It has to be infectious.
You can always look at a player and tell they have it, but you might not be able to say why. Swag exists in a Blake Griffin posterization, in a Kobe Bryant game-winner, and in an Andrew Bynum afro. It makes the NBA tick by making its players accessible and giving fans something to emulate. But who has the most swag? Is it the best players, the superstars or the players who have the best off-court demeanor? For me, on-court play has more importance. But you can’t ignore the off-court swag, either.
Here I will discuss the 10 players who I consider to have the most swag in the NBA. Remember that this list is anything from definitive. Disagreement is encouraged, but try to think about as you read, what is swag to you?
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10. KYRIE IRVING
The next generation face of NBA swag. You could say this is a homer pick, but I wholeheartedly believe that Kyrie Irving has all the talent and the balls to take over the league in a few years. He’s managed to become commercially relevant outside of Cleveland without being LeBron in his Uncle Drew campaign for Pepsi MAX. He forced media attention to a Cavaliers team that didn’t have one single nationally televised game last year by steamrolling the league, establishing himself as a fourth-quarter stud and winning the Rookie of the Year. Then he turned 20. Irving, if he can just stay healthy, will end the season as a top-five point guard. He’ll spend the rest of his career fluctuating between numbers one and five while giving the entire city of Cleveland its greatest shot at national media relevancy in years. The only modern athlete to be able to do that is currently the best basketball player in the world, which is good company for a 20-year-old to find himself in.