Skip to main content

In '05 the 76ers had to pay a massive fine for long shorts


On October 17th, 2005, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced a mandatory dress code, and everyone knew the primary target was Allen Iverson. One of the most popular NBA players, AI stayed true to himself and continued to rock his hip-hop style. A style Stern was concerned would bother (white) fans. We know that was the case because the NBA's own magazine airbrushed Iverson's tattoo when they put him on the cover in '99/'00. 

If this doesn't convince you, here's another fact. The dress code didn't only define expected outfits by saying that "players must dress in business or conservative attire." It listed all clothing items not allowed. See if this rings any bells - jerseys, jeans, hats, do-rags, T-shirts, large jewelry, sneakers, and timber boots (specifically, Timberland-type boots). Don't see cowboy boots here, do you?

The players found a way to express their rebellion, and it was on the court. They started wearing longer shorts. David Stern came down hard and started dishing out $10.000 fines per player and $50.000 to teams for each infraction. The rules stated that a player's shorts could not extend below 0.1 inch above the knee. Being the trendsetter that he is, Allen Iverson wasn't the only player who violated this rule. In addition to AI, John Salmons, Kyle Korver, and Kevin Ollie were all fined $10.000, and the 76ers had to pay $200.000 - 50k per player. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

“We think they're being too puritanical about the whole issue. The fines and their whole attitude appear insidious and draconian.”

Billy Hunter (NBPA director), ESPN

The Players' Union filed a grievance stating they are only wearing the league's official partner Reebok's attire. Teams supported the claim and said there was no warning that the NBA would suddenly measure shorts like a British boarding school. Stern did not care. Once that man made up his mind, he used all the power the league bylaws allowed him, which are vast. 

Years later, AI said he felt the rules were racist and unfair but kept a sense of humor about it. Seeing what players like Russell Westbrook and James Harden are wearing to games, Iverson said, "They need the dress code now!"

Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas playing against the New York Knicks

"Everybody wants to play in the Garden, besides the Knicks" — Gilbert Arenas goes in on New York Knicks fans

Gilbert Arenas breaks down why superstars don't want to play for the New York Knicks

Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley

"Patrick Beverley in the playoffs is an issue" — Iman Shumpert speaks on Patrick Beverley's value to the Los Angeles Lakers

Not everyone can see it right now, but Shumpert understands the importance of Pat Bev to the Lakers.


"It was an unmitigated slaughter calling out Shaq on everything" — Kobe Bryant savagely criticized Shaquille O'Neal in an unreleased statement

Sports Illustrated's Howard Beck talked about at the unpublished Kobe interview where he apparently ripped Shaq like never before.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

"He’ll give you the shirt off his back" — Juwan Howard's Michael Jordan story reveals the other side of Black Jesus

Juwan Howard expected to get trash-talked to death upon seeing Michael Jordan in Los Angeles.

Boston Celtics legend Kevin Mchale, Marcus Smart, Blake Griffin, Grant Williams, Malcom Brogdon

“The team honestly is stronger than any one coach” — Kevin McHale explains why Ime Udoka's scandal did not crumble the Boston Celtics

Celtics legend Kevin McHale admitted that he thought Udoka's suspension would significantly affect the Boston Celtics

New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin and forward Carmelo Anthony

"Multiple points of opposition" — Jeremy Lin addresses Carmelo Anthony's rumored jealousy and who squashed Linsanity

Rumors suggested that Carmelo Anthony played a part in the New York Knicks' decision not to re-sign Jeremy Lin.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving and New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury

“They hate your existence because you’re persistent and consistent” — Stephon Marbury has Kyrie Irving’s back

Marbury also said that Kyrie is a true leader and someone he wants his son to look up to.