Essentials: Bam Adebayo

Hypebeast meets up with the Miami Heat center and founder of The BBB Foundation to talk everyday must-haves.

Sports 
4,947 Hypes

In the latest installment of Essentials, Hypebeast joins Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo in Miami, Florida, to talk about travel and lifestyle necessities that stay in rotation. 

Miami Heat fans know him as Bam Adebayo, but the jumbo-sized, Nigerian-American athlete was born Edrice Femi Adebayo in Newark, New Jersey, to a single-family home. After flipping a coffee table over while watching the Flintstones at the age of one, Bam Adebayo’s mother nicknamed her little bundle of joy after Bamm-Bamm Rubble, a mischievous and rambunctious toddler. At the age of seven, his mother moved the family from Newark to rural North Carolina, starting a new chapter in a single-wide trailer home.

 
His impressive, albeit clumsy, strength evolved as he became a coordinated college basketball player for the University of Kentucky’s Kentucky Wildcats and Miami Heat’s 14th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. A three-time NBA All-Star and a four-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team honoree, Bam Adebayo’s legacy is still in the making, and the right people are watching. Noticing his achievements on and off the court, Michael Jordan selected the 26-year-old to join Jordan Brand in 2021. Credited for helping the Miami Heat storm the NBA finals alongside Jimmy Butler in 2020 and 2023, Adebayo has been integral to the team’s evolution, with a loyal fanbase that believes in his grit, ambition and sheer tenacity.

“Being able to wear all custom Jordan — it just speaks volumes to be a reflection of that on the court, in my own way.”

“It’s a blessing. I was handpicked. It wasn’t like I came to Jordan and was like, ‘I want to be a Jordan athlete.’ That wasn’t the deal. It was Jordan saying, ‘I want him to be a part of my brand.’ And obviously that’s a big thank you from me to Jordan. Being able to wear the brand and custom [models] that I’ve always wanted since I was younger. Being able to wear all custom Jordan — it just speaks volumes to be a reflection of that on the court, in my own way,” notes Adebayo.

Growing up watching Kobe Bryant dominate the game, Adebayo developed a thing for low tops. “I grew up a low top fan. I was inspired by Kobe Bryant. When he started making his Nike shoes, they started to become low tops. At that point, I just always wanted to wear low top sneakers. I went from wanting Kobe’s lows to wanting Air Force 1s to Jordan 1 Lows.”

In 2023, the athlete wore a player-exclusive colorway of the Air Jordan 37 Low, inspired by his favorite gum, Juicy Fruit. Sporting them during the Eastern Conference Finals, the baby pink construction featured purple and yellow accents and pink mesh inserts in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Since living in Miami, the athlete admits he’s comfort-oriented. If it isn’t cozy, Adebayo can’t be bothered. Rotating through graphic T-shirts, shorts and sweatpants, he keeps his fits simple and cohesive. “All my fashion fits I just want to be cozy but pop. A simple pop, like a type of aura. I’m not the person that walks in the room and wants to be the person everybody notices. But I am one of those people, when I walk in, I want you to look at me and be like, ‘dang, his outfit really fits him.’” Adebayo was taught the benefits of preventive skincare at a young age by his mom. Tatcha’s Dewy Skin Cream and a boar bristle brush for curly, afro-textured hair are among his favorite beauty items, usually stashed away in his Louis Vuitton Avenue Slingbag NM. “I got my skin and hair routine. It matters how you appear to people and how you present yourself. I feel like men should really hone in on [their] skin care routines. ‘Cause when we get older, we get old,” Adebayo jokes.

A worn copy of Caron Butler’s Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA, is just one of the cherished items Adebayo keeps on hand. A humbling and inspirational read for any sports lover, Caron Butler’s autobiography details his youth, from his troubled adolescence to playing ball at UConn, and later, playing for the Dallas Mavericks, who went on to win the 2011 NBA Championship. Now the current assistant coach of Miami Heat, Butler’s story encouraged Adebayo to embrace and share his own basketball journey with the public and his fans.

“Being able to talk to kids that have had similar lifestyles as him, and being able to explain to them that they do not have to submit to their lows. I feel like that’s what really resonates between me and him.”

“Every time I reread it, I always get a life lesson out of it, because one, I can talk to him. And two, you’ve seen somebody that’s been at the very bottom of the bottom rise to the top through all these obstacles. Being able to talk to kids that have had similar lifestyles as him, and being able to explain to them that they do not have to submit to their lows. I feel like that’s what really resonates between me and him. Giving the kids an outlet to see he’s made it out. He had a second chance and shed light on that,” says Adebayo.

The same year Adebayo was drafted, he founded The BBB Foundation (Bam, Books and Brotherhood), dedicated to at-risk youth. Providing low-income and single-parent families with educational resources, food, clothing and community-led programs, Adebayo attributes its founding to his mother, the soul, voice and heartbeat behind the organization, and his first supporter. Following this sentiment, his Macintosh laptop is adorned with a customized screen protector enshrining a special moment from his college days. “I’m a mama’s boy, and I love my mom to death. That picture was taken after we won the SEC Championship. She came to support me,” says Adebayo. Under John Calipari’s leadership, Adebayo nabbed nine rebounds and the Kentucky Wildcats defeated Arkansas Razorbacks 82–65. For the athlete, that moment solidified his sense of pride on the court, all the more special with his mother by his side.

“We lived off of $12,000 a year. To see her go from having to decide whether to keep the lights on or waiting a month so she can stack her money up. She kept food on the table and clothes on my back…”

“My mom’s always been my rock, my pride, my joy. She’s always been with me through the ups and downs. I always shed light on her because she’s been through so much. We lived off of $12,000 a year. To see her go from having to decide whether to keep the lights on or waiting a month so she can stack her money up. She kept food on the table and clothes on my back — doing that as a single parent while walking to work. She was committed to me feeling like I had everything.”

In Adebayo’s Miami property — a well-curated and well-deserved bachelor pad flexing the 26-year-old’s accomplishments — a portrait of the athlete sitting in front of his childhood trailer hangs center stage in the foyer. It’s the first piece of artwork guests see, a reminder that before the fame and stardom, a little boy and his mother weathered the storm together. 

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Essentials: Paolo Banchero
Sports 

Essentials: Paolo Banchero

Presented by Jordan Brand
Hypebeast meets up with Orlando Magic’s power forward and the No. 1 2022 NBA draft pick.

Essentials: Piet/P_Andrade Founder Pedro Andrade
Fashion 

Essentials: Piet/P_Andrade Founder Pedro Andrade

How to propel Brazilian and Latin American culture to the world through fashion and design.

Jordan Brand Introduces New Slip-Ons, the Jordan Roam
Footwear

Jordan Brand Introduces New Slip-Ons, the Jordan Roam

Debuting in the “Sail” colorway.


Jordan Brand Launches the "Agitator" Sandal
Footwear

Jordan Brand Launches the "Agitator" Sandal

Borrowing its sole design from the Air Jordan 13.

Foday Dumbuya's LABRUM Takes Us on a Journey Through Color for FW24
Fashion 

Foday Dumbuya's LABRUM Takes Us on a Journey Through Color for FW24

Travel-ready documents influenced the collection headed for flight, also debuting an all-new adidas collection this season.

Spencer Badu's Collection 013 Toys With Traditional Dress Codes
Fashion

Spencer Badu's Collection 013 Toys With Traditional Dress Codes

Knit wool shirts don graphic intarsia ties, while classic blazers are swapped for flight jackets and more.

Anti Social Social Club Launches New "Who We Hate to Be" Collection
Fashion

Anti Social Social Club Launches New "Who We Hate to Be" Collection

With a campaign led by rapper DDG.

Mariah Carey Hops on Ariana Grande's "yes, and?" Remix
Music

Mariah Carey Hops on Ariana Grande's "yes, and?" Remix

The track features Carey’s signature whistle tones and a revamped second verse.

Guess and WHP Global To Acquire Rag & Bone
Fashion

Guess and WHP Global To Acquire Rag & Bone

Guess will purchase the brand’s operating assets, while both companies will each own 50% of Rag & Bone’s intellectual property.


Sony Says the PS5 is “Entering the Latter Stage of its Life Cycle”
Gaming

Sony Says the PS5 is “Entering the Latter Stage of its Life Cycle”

Is a ‘PS5 Pro’ closer than we think?

Robyn Lynch and C. P. Company are Youthfully Nostalgic In FW24 Runway Collaboration
Fashion 

Robyn Lynch and C. P. Company are Youthfully Nostalgic In FW24 Runway Collaboration

The Irish designer reworked ten archival goggle jackets into fully functional masterpieces that balance athletic refinement.

16Arlington FW24 Portrays a Dazzling Haunted House
Fashion 

16Arlington FW24 Portrays a Dazzling Haunted House

“What makes a monster? Is it their physical freakishness? Is it their bloodlust? Or is it their status as something other than human, something abject, unnatural?”

Tissot Taps Damian Lillard for a PRX Watch Collaboration
Watches

Tissot Taps Damian Lillard for a PRX Watch Collaboration

Merging basketball with horology.

Diptyque’s Do Son Voyage Collection Is Powered by Rich Florals
Fashion

Diptyque’s Do Son Voyage Collection Is Powered by Rich Florals

Featuring a collaboration with Vietnamese craft brand, Hanoia.

More ▾
 
We got you covered. Don’t miss out on the latest news by signing up for our newsletters.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.