Pro athletes like Gradey Dick and Gary Trent Jr. basically have their work outfits picked out for them every day, but there’s still plenty of room to express yourself when you’re an NBA player.
Narcity recently spoke to the Toronto Raptors stars about life off the court, including their own approaches to personal style and beard care in light of their new "Game Face" partnership with Gillette. They each had plenty to say about their day-to-day looks, and they also opened up about their favourite spots in Toronto.
Dick of course has become an instant style icon in the 6ix, after he wore a ruby-red jacket to the NBA draft where the Raps selected him 13th overall last June.
The Kansas-born star told Narcity that he almost went even bigger with that Wizard Of Oz-inspired outfit, because he had a matching pair of sparkling red pants that he could've paired with the jacket.
"I'd have been fully Dorothy slippered out," he said.
Instead he and his family decided to go with black pants and let the jacket shine on its own.
"I'm glad we did because I think it would have been — I mean, it was goofy, don't get me wrong, but I think it would've been way too much."
Red jacket aside, Dick says he really tries to focus on being himself despite being in the Toronto spotlight. That can mean being a bit goofy and playful at times, whether he's starring in a Drake music video, playing Toronto trivia for an ad or donning a Scooby Doo outfit for a team Halloween party. However, he also tries to have a "dog mentality" when it's time to step onto the court.
"He's a great guy," Raptors star Scottie Barnes said about Dick in a recent chat with Narcity. "He's funny, he's goofy (...and) he's still a kid. He comes to practice every single day smiling, happy, making jokes, you know? That's who he is."
However, Gradey's also got a quiet swagger to him, and you can see an example of it in the diamond-encrusted personal logo he wears around his neck. He's since gotten a car with the logo inside of it as well.
That pic above shows Dick with a rare bit of summer facial hair, but these days he says he's keeping everything clean and trim as part of his partnership with Gillette. That means working a fresh shave into his game day routine.
"I feel more put together," said the 20-year-old, adding that it's hard to see his beard even when he does let it go.
While Dick is playing the clean-shaven face of Gillette these days, Gary Trent Jr. is the one rocking the full beard as part of his daily look.
Trent told Narcity that he's a "go with the flow" kind of guy, and he likes to have a beard because it gives him options when he puts together his look each day. He says he might decide to keep it "trim and nice" or "let it be wild and free," depending on his mood.
In fact, Trent says his daily mood is the driving force behind his whole approach to style, and he's definitely a stylish guy. The 24-year-old often shows up on Instagram in designer clothing from the likes of Balenciaga and Supreme, and his outfits show he clearly has an eye for patterns.
"The main thing for me is just being comfortable no matter what I'm doing or how I'm going about things," Trent said.
Trent also spoke to Narcity about another key element of his style: his tattoos. He's got ink over much of his body, and he says each piece is very important to him.
"Every single tattoo on my body has to mean something," he said. "Whether it's something that motivated me, whether it's something that shaped me -- anything. If you get certain tattoos that mean something to you and that hold some value to you, you can never go wrong."
He added that he doesn't just pick a piece off an artist's wall. Instead, Trent comes up with the inspiration and then finds someone to bring out that look that means something to him.
"I love any form of expressing yourself through art," he said.
Where do Gradey Dick and Gary Trent Jr. like to go in Toronto?
If you're hoping to catch a glimpse of these six-foot-somethings around the 6ix, they've each got a few favourite places they like to visit.
Trent's list is a bit longer than Dick's, as he's been in Toronto for about two years at this point. He says he loves the diversity in Toronto and there are many different things he likes to do around the city, such as visiting a museum, hitting a restaurant or taking in a live concert or comedy show.
He also appreciates a break from the rush of the NBA season.
"My ideal day off is just relaxing," he said, adding that sometimes he likes to be alone with his thoughts and find some inner peace.
When he's not doing that, Trent's top restaurants to visit are Sotto Sotto and Pai.
Gradey Dick is also a huge fan of Pai, which has attracted plenty of celebrities from different industries over the last year. Dick says he took his parents and one of his brothers to the Thai restaurant on their first visit to the city, and it was such a lovely experience that he ended up going back for his birthday celebration earlier this month.
"The most fun I've had was when my parents came up with one of my brothers and we tried to hit some local spots, (such as) Pai," he told Narcity.
"That's been one of my favourites so far. And just getting to meet the owner (Jeff Regular) and his wife (Chef Nuit Regular), I think that was super special," he said. "And not just for me, but just for my family, because my mom, she's a big cook at home."
Dick says he also really enjoyed another iconic Toronto spot: The CN Tower.
"The first thing I did when I got here was the CN Tower," he said. "I got up there and saw the view from that, which was crazy." He says he also took his family to Ripley's Aquarium, which is right at the foot of the tower.
As for Gary Trent Jr., he has a family connection to the city through his dad, Gary Trent Sr., who played 13 games for the Raptors during the 1997-98 season. Both Dick and Trent actually come from basketball families, as Dick's mom was an Olympic gold medallist and Trent's dad played nine seasons in the NBA.
Gary Jr. says Gary Sr. was like a "sacrificial lamb" because he figured out how to make the NBA the hard way.
"It's almost like I have a cheat sheet and in a sense, a step up," said the younger Trent, who also recalled a key conversation that set him on a path to the NBA.
“When I was five years old we just had a simple conversation. He asked me, do I want to be ordinary or do I want to be extraordinary in the game of basketball?" said Trent. "He wrote everything out on a piece of paper that I'll have to do if I want to be great. Obviously work hard, extra reps, everything we went through, sacrifices that I’ll have to make as in not going to birthday parties at five and six years old. All your friends going to birthday parties but we have to go to the gym, or you can’t go to certain events because you have a tournament or something.”
That might sound hard but it also shaped Trent into the player he is today, and it's a path many other athletes have followed to big-league success.
"We had a plan and we just executed and we went about it, and we're here now," he said.