NBA adopts 'business casual' dress code

Updated: October 18, 2005, 12:11 PM ET
Assocaited Press

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

NBA Dress Code
In a memo issued Monday, the NBA set forth a "minimum" dress code starting with the 2005-2006 season. The following highlights are excerpted from the memo:

1. General Policy: Business Casual
Players are required to wear Business Casual attire whenever they are engaged in team or league business. "Business Casual" attire means:
•  A long or short-sleeved dress shirt (collared or turtleneck), and/or a sweater.
•  Dress slacks, khaki pants, or dress jeans.
•  Appropriate shoes and socks, including dress shoes, dress boots, or other presentable shoes, but not including sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, or work boots.

2. Exceptions to Business Casual
There are the following exceptions to the general policy of Business Casual attire:
a. Players In Attendance At Games But Not In Uniform
Players who are in attendance at games but not in uniform are required to wear the following additional items when seated on the bench or in the stands during the game:
•  Sport Coat.
•  Dress shoes or boots, and socks.

3. Excluded Items
The following is a list of items that players are not allowed to wear while on team or league business:
•  Sleeveless shirts.
•  Shorts.
•  T-shirts, jerseys, or sports apparel (unless appropriate for the event (e.g., a basketball clinic), team-identified, and approved by the team).
• Headgear of any kind while a player is sitting on the bench or in the stands at a game, during media interviews, or during a team or league event or appearance (unless appropriate for the event or appearance, team-identified, and approved by the team).
• 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).

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, conducting interviews and making promotional or other appearances.

Specific penalties have not yet been announced, but NBA spokesman Tim Frank said players and their teams will face fines for violations -- adding that repeat offenders would be subject to suspensions.

"If they're trying to change the image of the league, that's cool," Suns forward Shawn Marion said.

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:

• Sleeveless shirts

• Shorts

• T-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).

Players will also now be required to wear a sport coat on the bench when they are not in uniform.

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

Not all the players feel that the new dress code is in the best image of the league.

"I understand they're making it out to make us look better to corporate and big business. But 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."

Commissioner David Stern is expected to announce the penalty for dress code violations next week.