The NBA is trying to lose its rogue hip-hop image in a way that has proven successful in the NFL and other business environments.
The league announced on Monday that a minimum dress code will go into effect at the start of the regular season on Nov. 1. Players will be expected to wear business casual attire whenever they participate in team or league activities, including arriving at games, leaving games and making promotional or other appearances.
“If they’re trying to change the image of league, that’s cool,” Suns forward Shawn Marion said.
Some teams already have their own dress code in place.
Portland coach Nate McMillian, who has the unenviable chore of getting his pack of hoodlums under control, is known for his strict rules. He has already banned headbands and cell phones on the team bus.
Players will no longer be able to wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, T-shirts, chains, pendants, or medallions worn over the player’s clothes. There will be no more wearing sunglasses while indoors, headphones (other than on the team bus or plane, or in the team locker room), and jerseys and baseball caps will no longer be acceptable attire for postgame press conference. Players will also now be required to wear a sport coat on the bench when they are not in uniform. The NBA already requires its coaches to wear sport coats, dress shirts, slacks and shoes on the bench.
Commissioner David Stern is expected to announce the penalty for dress code violations next week, and sports fans should hope that stiff fines and possible suspension for repeated offenses are included.