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NBA adopts 'business casual' dress code

10/18/2005 - NBA

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, 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.