The Image of the National Basketball Association


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You may not like Trading Spaces, but you're going to see a house cleanup anyway if you're an NBA fan. Thanks to Ron Artest and Latrell Sprewell, the NBA's reputation isn't perfect anymore, and David Stern is out to change that. Starting last Thursday, NBA players will be fined if they aren't wearing formal outfits during pregame.

It's true that NBA players have the reputation of being overpaid jerks, but having them put on a Giovanni suit isn't going to change that. Does the NBA think I'll think more of Ron Artest if he dresses like Donald Trump? Remember when Vernon Maxwell, Dennis Rodman and Bill Laimbeer played? Yeah, those guys were the model citizens that these youngsters could learn a thing or two from.

Believe it or not, the war on fashion and leisure has been going on for a while in the NBA. Since last year, players can't listen to walkmans in pregame sessions, something that Vince Carter found out. Chris Gatling was policed a couple years ago when his orange headband didn't match the Cavs team colors.

These guys already wear uniforms, so is it really necessary to give them a dress code? If anything, making them dress fancy will hurt the NBA's image. Showing players who dress casual and listen to music will help relate these people to the fans. But outfitting them in $1000-suits will only intensify our opinions of them as snobby jerks.

And that's not all. NBA players will be required to attend even more sessions of community service, because David Harrison doesn't have enough to do.

It's not like improving the NBA's image is a bad thing. Looking at the stats, the sheer number of fines and suspensions given weekly is astounding. In total money fined from the athletes last year, the MLB collected a total of $170,725 from all fines. The NFL collected roughly $3.3 million. The NBA gathered a whopping $13.9 million from league infractions in 2004. Stern fined Jeff Van Gundy $100K alone when Van Gundy suggested that the games were rigged. Not once since the start of the regular season did the NBA go a 2-week period without a suspension/fine.

Besides their drug policy, the NBA does a good job policing its league, but having the players wear suits won't help the NBA's image at all. The only good thing coming from this new dress code is the humor we'll experience seeing these guys in suits. Could you imagine Allen Iverson, Dirk Nowitski or Yao Ming in a tux? That's some funny stuff.

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