SPORTING AND STYLISH

4 Houston sports celebrities strut onto world's most fashionable list

Photo courtesy of the MFAH

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

Some of the world's hottest professional athletes have two things in common: they're uber-fashionable and they're Houstonians.

When they're not topping scoring titles or best-of lists, Houston-based stars James Harden, Russell Westbrook, P.J. Tucker (all three Houston Rockets), and Deandre Hopkins (Houston Texans) are frequently mentioned among pop culture's most stylish. Now, the flashy quartet has landed on Sports Illustrated's coveted Fashionable 50.

Featured in the July 29-August 5, 2019 issue of Sports Illustrated, the Fashionable 50 list was selected by a panel of stylists, fashion editors and executives, and other influencers across the sports and fashion industries.

The issue breaks down the field into categories, including "Icons," "Street Style Stars," and "Trendsetters." The Houston four fall evenly into those categories, starting with two Rockets stars as "Icons."

Russell Westbrook: Icon

Houston's newest Rocket is well known as a fashion plate. "It's hard to predict what the NBA's style trailblazer and self-proclaimed Fashion King will wear next, but that surprise factor and fearlessness are exactly what make Russell Westbrook a style icon," says the publication. Westbrook's pre-and-post-game attire gets a nod, as does his presence in the streets of Paris during Fashion Week and his "Why not?" approach to dressing.

James Harden: Icon

One of the NBA's most prolific players and scoring champs has an equally splashy fashion game. Sports Illustrated notes that for the 2018-19 season, the Rockets guard carefully planned his daring and dashing ensembles, pairing his signature beard with everything from bright floral prints to neon suits and more. His May 2018 cover shot for GQ is one for the books.

DeAndre Hopkins: Trendsetter

Sports Illustrated claims that the Houston Texans star wide receiver "may look to Pharrell for some fashion inspiration (okay...)," but the Texans wide receiver "has a unique, enviable style all to his own." The man with arguably the best hands in the National Football League gets props for his mixing of "luxurious and intricate designer pieces with more casual options from retailers like ASOS with ease."

Continue on CultureMap to see who else made the list.

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This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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