NBA dress code about money

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 30, 2005

It's time to pass the collection plate around, and not to help the local churches feed the poor. This is a more drastic and desperate situation. NBA players must buy new clothes to meet the new dress code.

I'm not sure how this can be accomplished. Carmelo Anthony said the players should be given a clothing stipend if the league is going to force players to dress in a less casual manner.

I hear you, Carmelo. Trying to buy jewelry, BMWs and other items will put a crimp in that paltry $7 million salary you're forced to get by on.

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Imagine someone like Latrell Sprewell who is having trouble feeding his family on $10 million a year and then he has to buy new clothes on top of that.

Allen Iverson said that having a dress code sends a bad message to the youth of America. It forces them to be in style and dress like the NBA players they idolize and could cause problems in the streets.

I can see it now. A group of kids jumping some boys going into one of those snob boarding schools and threatening them, &#8220Give me your neck tie or I'll scuff your Gucci loafers.”

Personally, I don't care if the NBA has a dress code. I think the players should have enough pride to present themselves in a reasonable manner since they are not only a business, but a multi-million dollar business.

In such a business, the NBA relies on the public. If fans don't watch, TV ratings go down and along with it the advertising rates. Less money, smaller salaries.

And in that case, maybe they will need a stipend.

The main reason for the dress code is to be more presentable to the older viewer. How many parents thought Rock 'n Roll just loud noise and that Elvis was really the devil?

The perception of the older generation never changes. The reason the league has to adhere to that viewing genre is because that group has the money. They buy tickets to the games and merchandise for their children and grandchildren.

As is the case in any decision, the underlying reason is always money.

There has been some negotiations that would have fashion designers develop a line of clothing suitable for each team's preference. It's a compromise by the league and players.

Once they decide on what to wear in the NBA, I figure designers beer hats and button-down T-shirts for NASCAR drivers isn't far behind.

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.