First off....this NBA dress code has been blown out of proportion. It has become a buzzworthy story that gets people talking about race, first ammendment rights and what is "proper". So, to continue on this...I guess I'll contribute to the hype.
Now, the NBA players have KNOWN this was going to come for quite a while. It was agreed to in their recent Collective Bargaining Agreement that the NBA could [and most likely would] pull this move. So the NBA players crying about it now makes no sense. If they want to blame anyone, blame the player's reps who either negotiated or were team embassadors to the negotiations.
Second off....it isn't a bad idea, I just think it goes a bit too far. I am all for the "business attire". When asking players about financial issues, they all love to say "this is a business". Well, most businesses require certain attire....whether it is uniforms or a suit and tie. And if the people who pay your salary [read: employers] want you to be presented in a certain way....they have that right.
However, I don't agree with the extent of this. I would say it is fair that players must wear this "business attire" when arriving to the arena for game day. That's when these guys are the most visable and really in the true essence of their "business". I also think it is fair to say they are dressed this way for postgame interviews and such [as in those news conferences]. And I think it is fair to say they have this attire if they are sitting on the bench and not in uniform...which most players do. I just think it should end there. Any other time, the player should dress as he wishes.
This is a sport in which players are most recognized wearing underwear. A tank top and shorts. I think the NBA should adopt the same sort of deal the NFL has. The NFL wants their players and coaches to either be "business attired" or in NFL licensed clothing. If the NBA adopted this, that would allow these players wear those throwback jerseys [or they are NBA licensed] or something similar.
I also STRONGLY disagree with banning jewelry.
But, players, this isn't totally foreign. Many schools [both college and high school] require a dress code when the "team" travels together. And to anyone who cries that this violates the player's first ammendment rights can get off their soapbox. Most people in this country have jobs that require a dress code. I do. I have to dress a certain way....and take out my jewelry before beginning work. Every job I've had required a dress code. Well except one job....and that was with me scrubbing toilets at age 15.
Now, reality. I don't want to get into the whole racial tension this has brought up. But I can see how this can be thought of in that light. From the NBA's point of view, their guys aren't viewed that favorable to the demographic they want to reach....which is 25-50 year old white people. To the NBA, the only time we, the public, see NBA players in suits is when they are being called a "defendant". Of course, this isn't true. I mean, remember Michael Jordan always looking dapper in his suits??
No...the NBA wants to get rid of the image of the white-tee, baggy jeans, sneakers, gold chains, with huge headphones and an I-pod in hand. Instead, they want their guys to look like they do when they shake David Stern's hand on draft day.
In summation, I think both sides need to relax a little. The league needs to bend a bit on the amount of time players must adhere to the dress code and allow the chains and such. The players need, then, to shut up about it and follow the rules their employers set forth. If that happens, we all get along just fine.