Proposed dress code doesn't suit some NBA players

Updated: October 5, 2005, 1:42 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The idea of an off-the-court dress code isn't sitting well with some NBA players.

Though it hasn't been finalized yet, players have been warned a dress code likely will be instituted this season for team functions. Players will have to wear business casual clothes -- such as a sport coat and slacks -- for all team affairs. Commissioner David Stern told The Boston Globe that the dress code would exclude jeans.

Team functions would include team flights, traveling to and from games and at public appearances. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported the dress code would be backed up by NBA fines.

"The dress code is, to me, a continuation of things," Stern told The Globe. "It's a small thing that contributes to a sense of professionalism. It's what the job entails. We've always moved to the fashion of our players. Years ago, the fashion was a jacket and tie. Now, it's a much more casual approach. But our referees are always attired a certain way based upon their job description when they come into the building. Our coaches are attired a certain way when they come on the court. We decided that it was time [for the players]."

The Hawks' Josh Childress is one of the players who thinks the NBA is "taking this thing too far."

"I understand where they're coming from. We all need to be neat and professional. But to ask us to wear suits everywhere, even at a hotel at 2 a.m. I think that's a bit much," Childress told the Journal-Constitution.

Allen Iverson told The Philadelphia Daily News he will fight any new dress code.

"I dress to make myself comfortable," Iverson told the Philadelphia Daily News. "I really do have a problem with it. ... It's just not right. It's something I'll fight for."

Childress told the Journal-Constitution that a dress code is something that should be phased in gradually.

"Listen, if they wanted to do this thing gradually I could understand that," Childress told the newspaper. "Say you want us to wear slacks and a shirt this year, and then next year add jackets and whatever. But to do it all at once is just more than I think is necessary, to just jump up and say wear suits or you get fined is nuts."

Players union president Antonio Davis told USA Today the union wouldn't be opposed to a dress code, but even he was only willing to go so far.

"I don't think it's fair for them to tell you exactly how to dress," Davis told the newspaper. "You can't say no jeans. I've seen businessmen in jeans, a sports coat and nice shirt, and you say that's classy."