On a recent podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski, Jalen Rose talked about the dress code implemented by the former NBA commissioner David Stern. The dress code was introduced on October 17th, 2005, and a lot of the players were obviously against it, and at that time, it sparked a lot of controversies. Ultimately most of the players fully accepted the dress code. Still, at that time, the media’s focus was whether the NBA is limiting the freedom of expression and turning the league into a corporate looking company.
Jalen said the NBA was primarily influenced by rap culture at that time, which affected their clothing style, which wasn’t going hand in hand with the brand NBA was trying to build. Rose said Allen Iverson also had a huge impact, especially when he won the MVP award because of a lot of the younger players looked up to Iverson much more than some other stars in the league.
“I remember when he instituted the dress code, we were upset about it, but it was a unique set of circumstances. People also underestimate two things. Rap music and NBA started going hand in hand with the Bad Boy Pistons; You can’t touch this by Mc Hammer. So for Allen Iverson to be the MVP of the league wearing a four x shirt when he probably only needs an xl with cornrows, with multiple tattoos, the league didn’t know what to do with his corporate sponsors.”
According to Jalen, the players were furious at first, but afterward realized it didn’t affect me that much. It was more the media that was triggering the story.
“For me, as players, we were really mad about it. And then I noticed something; they weren’t enforcing the dress code. It was something that was out there. People made headlines about it. But It didn’t change how we dressed.”
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