Christopher John Farley of TIME makes some great points about the NBA's new dress code. My favorite is that players want to dress like rappers, but actual rappers like Jay-Z and Queen Latifah wear Armani and Ralph Lauren these days.
I have the feeling the dress code will backfire on the league in some way--it's a creepy and unnecessary exertion of control. (More of my thoughts in an earlier post, especially in the comments.) Farley may have put his finger on exactly why it won't work:
The NBA's new dress code is silly. It makes the players in the league look like they are children who can be ordered around by their parents. That's not going to help the league look cool. Seventh graders aren't going to start saying: "I want to be like Allen Iverson because he wears what he's told!" But players, by dressing sloppily in public appearances, are out of touch with what fans expect out of their fantasy figures. Michael Jordan--the most successful NBA star of all time--understood what the public wanted. He almost never left the locker room before slipping on a tasteful suit. Jordan could not only pay for lunch for every player in the league; he would have them all for lunch on the court. NBA Commissioner David Stern needs to drop the dress code, unless he wants to look like he's running a plantation. But if today's NBA stars want to have the cultural impact of Jay-Z or Jordan they should start dressing better.