Though David Stern insists that his new dress code is one “that even Mark Cuban could comply with— if he wanted to,” the Indiana Pacers’ Stephen Jackson suspects that “improving the league’s image” is code for something else.
Indiana Pacers guard Stephen Jackson (above) said he had no problem with requiring players to dress better. But he drew the line at players being told their chains and necklaces can’t be visible over their clothes.
“I just think that’s attacking young, black males,” said Jackson, who wore four chains to the Pacers exhibition game against San Antonio on Tuesday night. “The part about wearing suits, I think we should dress up. A lot of guys have gotten sloppy with the way they dress and I have no problem with that. But the chains, that’s going a little too far.”
Stern pointed out that when the topic was brought up during collective bargaining, the teams “preferred that we do it as a group.”
Even so, many NBA players are more comfortable dressing like the fans they cater to. And Cuban, the maverick owner of the Dallas Mavericks, often dresses in T-shirts and jerseys.
“We don’t really sell to big business,” Phoenix 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.”