More Culture:

June 27, 2024

From painted nails to game day fits, Jared McCain makes stylish addition to Sixers roster

The 20-year-old guard, who has nearly 3 million TikTok followers, has made an immediate impact on the team's vibes.

Social Media Sixers
jared mccain sixers fashion Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Jared McCain, who was drafted Wednesday by the Sixers, is already a social media star.

The Sixers used their No. 16 pick in the draft to select Jared McCain on Wednesday, welcoming the 20-year-old Duke guard into the NBA spotlight. But his star power — on and off the court — was already cemented long before his name was called that night.

Along with establishing himself as a Duke standout, McCain is a bonafide social media celebrity, with 2.9 million followers on TikTok and 1.1 million on Instagram, and is a fashion influencer known for working with big-name brands, wearing stylish outfits, and painting his nails to match

RELATED: Jared McCain's shooting stroke lands him with Sixers: 'I've been working on it my whole life'

How McCain will impact the Sixers on the court next season? I'll leave those speculations to our sports writers. However, I do feel confident in predicting that he will give a much-needed boost to the team's vibes.

Oh, you don't think vibes are important when it comes to sports? Take a quick stroll across the South Philly sports complex to Citizens Bank Park and look at the Phillies, a team with an off-the-chart aura — think shimmying celebrations, daily "Daycare" shenanigans, sing-along walk-up songs and general brotherly support for one another — paired with a highly successful season so far.

Meanwhile, the Sixers could use some uplifting, as the team and its fans were left disappointed by yet another postseason flop to end last season. And then in walked McCain on Wednesday night, wearing a dapper double-breasted cropped Dolce & Gabbana suit with sparkling brooches, ready to make one of his signature, smiley dance videos for the Sixers TikTok. You have to admit, the vibes feel higher already! 

Speaking of McCain's Dolce & Gabbana suit, which landed him in Vogue, dressing dapper is nothing new for the 6-foot-3 baller from Sacramento. If his Instagram is any indication, McCain is not afraid to take risks when it comes to choosing his fits, opting for trendy looks in monochrome tones, bright colors and leather. He also knows a thing or two about accessorizing with jewelry, bags and shoes.

McCain's sense of style hasn't gone unnoticed by major fashion brands, as he starred in an ad campaign for Kim Kardashian's brand SKIMS and has also partnered with American Eagle.

The short walk between the parking lot and the locker room has become a catwalk of sorts for many professional athletes, and, not to brag, but Philadelphia has become a fashionable sports city as a whole. Take the Eagles, who have treated those pre-game "paparazzi walks" as their own personal Met Gala — although the now-retired Jason Kelce did drag their style level down a notch with his go-to flip flops

On the Sixers, McCain will make a welcome addition to an already stylin' team. There's Tyrese Maxey, who rocked a pair of especially iconic patchwork jeans in April, and Kelly Oubre Jr., who turned heads in a leather trench coat in March. Fans in the comments on a Sixers Instagram post also noted that "McCain and Oubre tiktoks are going to save this franchise" and "Maxey n Mcain chemistry finna go off," referring to the players' active social media presence and jovial charisma.

Another thing Sixers fans can expect to see on and off the court this season is a favorite accessory of McCain's: a fresh coat of paint on his fingernails. At the draft, he told the New York Times he had wanted to paint his nails to match his new team, but didn't know who it would be yet. So, hopefully we'll see some cool Sixers-inspired nail art next season. 

While it's not a new phenomenon — see PopSugar's in-depth, centuries-wide history of the "men-icure" — McCain has made waves among fans and haters alike for choosing to wear nail polish, usually in Duke blue for games. Along with famous artists like Harry Styles and Bad Bunny, male athletes have also been painting their nails for years, including NBA star Dennis Rodman in the '90s and more recently quarterback Caleb Williams, who was drafted No. 1 by the Bears in April.

McCain said he's been painting his nails since quarantining during the pandemic and was inspired by Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson. Manicures have kind of become McCain's thing, having gotten his nails done alongside Duke alum and ESPN analyst Jay Bilas for an interview during March Madness. Also in March, McCain announced that he scored an NIL deal with the nail polish brand Sally Hansen and clapped back at the haters all in one breath.

"Just do some self-care time," he said in a TikTok announcing the partnership. "I think everyone should do self-care for themselves. For me, it's nail painting. I'm sorry if that offends any of you guys. ... I thought it looked nice and I know a lot of people disagree. A lot of people don’t like it. I’m just going to be myself and do what I think looks nice."

Since joining the Sixers, there have been some negative comments in regards to McCain's social media and style choices. (As the great Taylor Swift once said, "Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.") But, a quick scroll through X (formerly Twitter) also shows that many passionate Philly fans are rallying behind the Sixers' new addition:

With McCain joining the team, all I'm hoping for this season is fire game day fits, cool nail art, Joel Embiid making a cameo in one of his dance TikToks ... and lots of wins, obviously.

Follow Franki & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @wordsbyfranki | @thePhillyVoice
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice
Have a news tip? Let us know.