Tuesday , Nov , 30 , 1999 C.Y. Ellis

Dwyane Wade’s Face Tape and Other Things the NBA Has Banned

Dwyane Wade's Face Tape and Other Things the NBA Has BannedFrom the moment I first saw Dwyane Wade sporting a designer bandage under his left eye, I quietly started counting down to the NBA’s inevitable decision to ban it and thereby justify their reputation as insufferable killjoys.  Sure enough, today’s report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel confirms that this shameless display of individuality has drawn the ire of the Legion of Dull, with spokesman Tim Frank releasing this statement in response:

"We spoke to [the Miami Heat].  A player can wear a Band-Aid for healthcare purposes, but it shouldn’t have any name or identifications on it…You can’t wear an identifiable Band-Aid.  We don’t expect it to be an issue, so there will be no need for a penalty."

Dwyane may have looked like a fancy German cheese with that sticker slapped on his mug, but what harm was he doing?  How much further can the NBA genericise their players’ on-court attire?  I’m surprised at this point that they’re even allowed names on the back of their jerseys.  What’s left to take away?

As ever when the NBA craps on the right to self-expression, this got me thinking back to some of the more prominent boycotts they’ve imposed.  Here are a few bans that stick out in my mind:

Hanging on the rim after a dunk.  Remember when the Orlando-era Penny used to chin up on the rim after a double-handed stuff?  I miss that.

Baggy shorts.  Nothing chafes David Stern’s vagina more than a player wearing shorts that "extend below one inch above the knee".  Violators are fined an even ten grand, and their teams are hit with a levy of five times that amount.  Are you f*cking kidding me?  If I paid $60,000 to rock a pair of shorts for forty-eight minutes, I’d expect it to come with car keys in the pocket and a swimsuit model to cup my balls while I was wearing them.

Those suspect tights.  Well, I guess the league gets it right every now and then.  While the players claimed the super-skimpy Lycra abominations prevented injury, my personal study into the matter suggested otherwise.  A friend of mine wore tights to a handful of pick-up games in the park, and I observed that he was punched in the head one hundred percent of the time that he did so.  Not only did he suffer several concussions, but I chipped a bone in my knuckle.

Any clothing you might see in a rap video.  Here’s a cut-down of the dialogue between the league office and the NBPA:

David Stern: Stop wearing the clothes you feel comfortable in.

Players:  Lighten up, Dave.

David Stern: Same to you.

I think you get what I’m saying.

Stripping off warmups while entering the game or entering the game with an untucked jersey.
  You read that correctly, folks.  Doing either, the rules say, will result in a delay of game call for the first infraction, followed by a technical foul.

iPods.   Vince Carter used to compose himself in the warm-up line by listening to his personal music player, an act so inoffensive that it took the league months to notice he was even doing it.  As soon as they did, however, they immediately put the clamps on Carter’s pregame ritual.  I’m sure they would have been fine with it if Vince had been listening to Elvis Presley, though.

So, which ones have I missed?  What more could the league ban?  Does anyone out there think the NBA is doing the right thing by promoting comprehensive uniformity among their players?  Let us know what you think by leaving a comment in the box below.