Chris Brickley is arguably the best NBA skills trainer in the world, boasting more than 60 NBA players as his clients — including eight of the last 11 NBA MVPs, 10 of the last 12 NBA scoring champions and 29 NBA All-Stars. With his strong social media following and streetwear brand, Color Blind, it only made sense for him to partner up with leading sports retailer Lids. PopCulture.com got a chance to talk to Brickley about being an ambassador for Lids and what it means to him.
"I've been a customer for a long, long time ever since I was a little kid," Brickley said exclusively to PopCulture.com, explaining his fondness for the retailer. "Growing up in New Hampshire and walking into Lids, you can get a hat of any NBA team, any MLB team, and NFL team. Lids was a special place growing up. I love going in there. Every time I got a hat, it meant something to me. I've been a fan of the store almost my whole life. When I found out I could be the newest brand ambassador, it's almost like a dream come true. We've been doing some great things with the creative team, and I'm excited."
This fall, Lids will unveil new Chris Brickley customizations, which will be available at all retail locations with Lids Custom. Brickley said he's working with the Lids Custom to create a new custom hat design for Color Blind, which represents "equality and seeing the light in everybody." Fans can also customize the hat at Lids Custom with different Color Blind logos and slogans. Brickley is a hat expert as he said he owns at least 100, which makes sense since he also said he buys more hats than anything when shopping at Lids.
"Chris Brickley is one of the most well-connected and trusted figures in the NBA circle," Lawrence Berger, Chairman of FanzzLids Holdings, said in a statement. "His visibility and influence in basketball and streetwear are unmatched. We’re excited to partner with Chris and share his passion for basketball culture with his fans and our customers through his customizations and hat design."
Brickley, who played college basketball at Louisville under Rick Pitino, became an assistant coach at New Jersey's Farleigh Dickinson University in 2010. During the offseason, Brickley would work out his former Louisville teammate Chris Smith and his younger brother J.R. Smith who was with the New York Knicks at the time. That led to him developing connections with other NBA players and a coaching position with the Knicks in 2013. He left in 2014 and began his career as a trainer as well as an influencer.
"Some players, we worked together for five, six, seven, eight years," Brickley said when talking about the players he trains. "Each offseason, we're just building on something different. And for some players, this offseason will be my first time working with them and we'll come up with a plan."0comments
Because Brickley has such a large client list, following the NBA is a must. And with the NBA Finals starting this week, Brickley gave his thoughts on Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and how he's able to play at a high level at 35 years old.
"LeBron James has been able to play at a high level just because of his work ethic and the way he takes care of his body," Brickley stated. "People in sports have read how he invested $1 million into his body every year... He's held himself accountable and treated his body like a temple. I think that's allowed him to be 35 and still be one of the top players in the NBA."