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NBA Introduces New Dress Code for Players
By DOUG FEINBERG, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK - There will be no more dress down days in the NBA.

The league announced in a memo to teams 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.

While the league may be trying to present a better image to its corporate partners, some of its players fear that they may lose out on the core fan base.

"We don't really sell to big business," Suns guard Raja Bell said. "We sell to kids and people who are into the NBA hip-hop world. They may be marketing to the wrong people with this."

Some teams already have their own dress code in place.

Portland coach Nate McMillian is known for his strict rules, including bans on headbands and on cell phones on the team bus.

"It's important that the players understand they have to respect the game," McMillian said in August. "They have to respect the league. And they have to respect the fans. You must be a professional at all times."

Players will no longer be able to wear:

_Sleveless shirts



_Chains, pendants, or medallions worn over the player's clothes.

_Sunglasses while indoors

_Headphones (other than on the team bus or plane, or in the team locker room).

Also jerseys and baseball caps will no longer be acceptable attire for postgame press conference.

"I think there needs to be some style improvement but at the same time it has to be with in reasons," Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett said.

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.

"I think it is appropriate, definitely, on the bench," Marion said. "I think you should be in a nice shirt and slacks."

However, the new dress code may not be practical for every NBA player, especially Garnett and his teammates who live in the cold Midwest. "Not everyone lives in Minneapolis going out in 20 below," he said. "Not everyone wants to be in a suit and jacket. Hopefully they can go 50-50."

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Did you hear that Stephen Jackson of the Indiana Pacers is saying that the NBA is being racist? WTF?!? :rolleyes:

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers guard Stephen Jackson, contending that a league ban on chains worn over clothing is "a racist statement" from the league, wore every long, diamond-studded chain in his collection Tuesday night as a protest.

Getty Images
Stephen Jackson, pictured during the NBA playoffs in May, says he doesn't plan on challenging the new dress code.

Jackson voiced no opposition to the bulk of the "business casual" demands in the NBA's new dress code, but he described the jewelry ban as "attacking young black males."

"I think it's a racist statement because a lot of the guys who are wearing chains are my age and are black," said Jackson, 27. "I wore all my jewelry today to let it be known that I'm upset with it.

"I'll wear a suit every day. I think we do need to look more professional because it is a business. A lot of guys have gotten sloppy with the way they dress. But it's one thing to [enforce a] dress code and it's another thing if you're attacking cultures, and that's what I think they're doing."

Jackson made his comments before Tuesday's home exhibition game against San Antonio, with the four chains he wore to work hanging in his locker -- one sporting his initials, two with a crucifix and a fourth depicting Jesus Christ.

A section in the new dress code listing items players are not allowed to wear on team or league business includes "chains, pendants or medallions worn over the player's clothing."

"I know a lot of guys on my team are upset and I have no problem speaking up on it," Jackson said.

Jackson, though, said he wouldn't openly defy the rule if it means he keeps "giving money back" in fines.

San Antonio's Tim Duncan, far less vocal but also a critic of the new policy, did not play in Tuesday's game and sat on the bench wearing an untucked shirt and baggy jeans -- attire that could result in a fine if seen during a regular-season game. A specific range of penalties has yet to be announced, but league officials have already made it clear that violators of the dress code will be fined -- as well as their teams -- with repeat violators subject to suspension.
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