Dressing Up the NBA

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A little less gangsta, a little more J. Crew. The National Basketball Association imposes a dress code. But some players see the new rules as racist, denegrating fashions popular with young black men.


The NBA wants their players to look a little less gangsta and a little bit more J. Crew-a(ph). This week, Commissioner David Stern announced a dress code for players when attending league activities. The players, who are all million-dollar corporations, will be required to wear business casual when going back and forth to games and giving interviews, suits or blazers and dress slacks. They cannot wear sleeveless tees, sunglasses while indoors or glittery chains and medallions, but could Dennis Rodman wear a cocktail dress? The players union agreed to the code, but there was some grousing. Stephen Jackson of the Indiana Pacers called the code `a racist statement,' attacking young black males. Mr. Jackson was part of a brawl with Detroit fans last year that spurred concern about the league's image, but union president Antonio Davis of the New York Knicks said, `Guys will come in and they'll feel good about how they're dressed.' Orlando Magic guard DeShawn Stevenson says the code could induce players not to buy quite so many gold and diamond chains. `It's a waste of money if we can't wear it where we want to wear it,' he said.

Coming up, it's pinstripes in Chicago and orange accents in Houston as the World Series begins.

Copyright © 2005 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Related NPR Stories



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from