SLAM’s ØNE ’N DØNE campaign is a celebration of hoops culture by creating products made to inspire, amplify and honor iconic basketball moments and stories. Shop now.
Be yourself, even if that means being misunderstood.
Perhaps no two NBA players have embodied those eight words more than Dennis Rodman and Allen Iverson.
Throughout their respective careers, Rodman and AI were always unapologetically themselves—both on and off the court. They didn’t care what others thought. They weren’t worried about the outside noise. They ignored the criticism and slander. Rodman was going to be Rodman. Iverson was going to be Iverson. No matter what.
The fashion world would not be the same today without those pioneers. Just ask Jessie Diez, TJ Wallace and Sean Daniel—the trio behind the rapidly growing brand Fifty2Hundred (F2H), which seeks to capture the human experience and never-ending balance between good and evil through their apparel. It goes beyond just setting trends; Rodman and Iverson inspired a whole generation to be confident and embrace originality.
So when F2H and SLAM decided to collaborate, it was only right for their new collection to pay homage to those two cultural icons, who were often misunderstood but always authentic.
“Rodman was like the modern rockstar. He didn’t care what people thought of him,” Diez, the founder of Fifty2Hundred, says. “The way he expressed himself—whether it was on the court or off the court—he honestly didn’t care. He could be in a dress one game and in regular men’s clothes another game. It was just an expression for him: This is me. I’m human. Accept me for who I am. And then Allen Iverson came into play and he had the same energy, just in a newer era.”
The “Misunderstood Collection” consists of two graphic tees—one celebrating Rodman and one celebrating Iverson. Both shirts display a skull engulfed in flames on the front and contain specific design elements to reflect each player. The skull on the Rodman tee, for example, features the former Bull’s distinctive hair pattern in purple, orange and green, while the skull on the Iverson tee has braids and a red headband.
Short messages—“Be yourself, even if that means being misunderstood” and “Express yourself”—are etched on the skeleton to resemble cracks, reinforcing the main themes of the collaboration.
The Misunderstood Collection is AVAILABLE NOW.
“There are always going to be opinions and people want to throw their two cents and make it feel like they should be able to have some say in your life,” says Wallace, a longtime friend of Diez and former pro basketball player overseas, about those themes. “But really, we’re just all our own separate planets, you know? We’re all just here to put our best foot forward and express ourselves and tell people how we want to be treated, how we wanted to be accepted, how we want to be loved.”
The collection is made up of only 150 tees.
“I think [the collection] fits well with what everyone is wearing in the [NBA] tunnel,” adds Daniel, who got connected with Diez and Wallace—and therefore F2H—through his work with LeagueFits. “It’s not something you see all the time. The design is different.”
And if Rodman and Iverson taught us anything, it’s that different is good, even if others fail to understand. As long as it’s an expression of you, nothing else matters.
“Just be yourself, even if that means being misunderstood,” Wallace reiterates. “Because at the end of the day, the only person you truly have to answer to is yourself.”
Photos taken by Samuel Altamirano and Byron Riggs