Thursday, October 20, 2005

Dress Them How You Like -- NBA Players Will Still Act Goofy

It's funny to me, sometimes, how it seems we treat symptoms in this country and not the actual problems themselves -- the causes of the symptoms.

Take the new NBA dress code, for example.

First of all, the NBA doesn't need a dress code -- it needs a code of conduct. You could dress every one of them in tuxedos and spats, but it wouldn't mean they would all suddenly start acting like little angels. Not that they should, of course; NBA players are people, too, and people aren't perfect. But the point is, quit concentrating on what they wear and focus more on how they behave.

It's not just dramatic incidents like the Pistons-Pacers brawl last November, either. It's a general, across-the-board reputation the league's players have, right or wrong, that they are nothing more than thugs with dough. Does some of that image come from their attire? Perhaps. But I think more of it comes from the things they say and do.

Latrell Sprewell comes to mind -- not once, but twice. First there was the choking incident with his coach, P.J. Carlesimo, back in 1997. Then there was the outrageous comments he made a year or so ago about wanting his contract renegotiated, complaining to the press that, "I have to feed my family, man." I don't think it was relevant what Spree was wearing in either of those incidents.

There are more examples I can cite, of course -- other players who have done or said things that haven't exactly been a league PR director's dream. And yes, there are a lot of good guys in the NBA, too -- no question about that. But we always tend to focus on the negative, don't we? Makes for better headlines. And blog topics.

So, I guess I am in agreement with most of the players who say the dress policy is silly and should be slam-dunked. But my reasoning may be different from theirs. It's not needed, it says here, because that's not the NBA's problem when it comes to its reputation.

If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck -- no matter how you dress it.


The Armchair Quarterback said...

I think your correct in your assessement of the NBA as an organization that doesn't get it when addressing it's core issues Although the dress code may not be popular with players and the hip-hop crowd, it is in my eyes a welcome change. Anything to keep Kobe from wearing that fur coat (or was it a live coyote) to games is a good thing.

dolphinfan said...

I'm undecided on the dress code. On one hand I see the image that the NBA is trying to avoid, on the other I wonder if this is a cultural issue that should be left alone?