Monday , Oct , 24 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

NBA Dress Code: Your Thoughts; Tayshaun Prince; Hip-Hop and Hoops, and more…

What’s good, basketball fans?

Like Afeez, I’m making my awaited comeback today. The major difference is that his return was from a Californian summer, while mine is from a wicked virus that knocked me out of the game like an errant elbow from Dikembe.

Still, things could be worse. The beauty of this medium is that you don’t have to watch me pull an Oliver Miller as I breathe heavily and sweat gallons despite putting in only a limited physical effort. What’s more, you won’t have to suffer the gruesome sight of my Rodney White impersonation every so often. Be glad if you didn’t catch that reference.

Since I was on the injured list all morning (“DNP – Sleeping Uneasily”), we’ll skip our usual routine of looking at the previous night’s games and get straight to a feature I introduced in the last edition, Ask Chuck.

NBA Dress Code: Your Thoughts; Tayshaun Prince; Hip-Hop and Hoops, and more...

Ask Chuck
From: Ziggy
Subject: dress code
I think it’s a good idea.  Why should young players making good money go around looking like sloppy rag bags festooned in chains and all kinds of bric-a-brac.  Let them express themselves by wearing whatever they want in their off time.
I can’t believe you wrote that it seems like an attempt to appeal to the lowest denominator!   I see it as an attempt to raise the image of the NBA.
Firstly, let me say that if the dress code shapes children’s minds to the extent that they don’t grow up and name their offspring “Ziggy”, I’m all for it. (I jest.) Secondly, “sloppy rag bags (sic) festooned in chains and all kinds of bric-a-brac” may be one of the top five sentence clauses I’ve ever come across in a reader email, so congratulations for that.
Seriously, though, it’s your final paragraph that explains it all. My stance is that anything which attempts to pander to those fans who follow the NBA as a result of its image is an appeal to the lowest common denominator. I know that David Stern doesn’t see it as such, but that’s because he has a dollar sign tattooed on his butt to remind him of his job. Much like The Beatnuts, “Get Money” is Dave’s saying for life. 
I appreciate that money is king in this industry, but I still can’t help but think that we don’t need the sort of fans who are going to start following the game because the players are stepping off the team bus in a three-piece with their chains tucked.
From: Aja
Subject: NBA Rules
I happen to totally agree with your thoughts on the matter. I’m a young professional female, who enjoys Basketball, and it makes no difference to me. BUT I do have an issue with any employer telling their employee what to wear when not in the public eye.
 I think Mr. Stern should tread lightly – while he may think this won’t cause a stir, it may cause one he wasn’t looking for – like the claims of some players that it’s a direct kick in the face for those who love hip-hop. I don’t associate hip-hop with Basketball, but I can’t deny that some of the best b-ball gets played on the streets, perhaps that’s one of the reasons he wants suits all around. I honestly don’t want any drama, but I think a gradual process and refined rules will work better for all, than do it now or else.
Ok I’m done.
I’m not dissuading the rest of you from contacting me, but I sometimes wish that all my emails were from young, professional females who enjoy basketball and totally agree with me.
You do raise an important point there, Aja, and it concerns the appearance of this rule as an attempt to kick hip-hop style out of the league. Obviously, Dave’s line would be that he’s aiming to outlaw all inappropriate attire (from platinum chains to cowboy boots), but the truth is that he wants to reshape the league’s image so as to calm the parents who see the same characters on the rap album covers as on the court.
That said, he could ban tattoos, ’rows and ’fros, and force every player in the league to sport short shorts and a side parting, and he still couldn’t divorce hip-hop from hoops. The two are too closely related already and, besides which, this is somewhere the fans can run the show. Do you think I’ll be wearing suits to the court when I play in the ’hood because of this? Do you think our sound systems are going to pump Elvis instead of Biggie now that Dave has given rap its marching orders? Do you think Jay-Z and Nelly are going to sell their shares in the Nets and ’Cats now that they know their music (and the surrounding culture) isn’t welcome any more?
The answer to those questions should be obvious. After all, does anybody remember the effect of the league’s stipulations concerning the length of shorts? I know that I’m still rocking mine in XXXL.
Hey man i was wondering what you think of tayshaun prince? im from Oz n bball not that big here but yeh i follow tay and the pistons? please reply from Beaaty.
I was already aware that Australians spoke with a rising intonation, but I didn’t know that they interpolated redundant question marks to emphasise that in their writing. I feel as if I’ve learnt something today.
To answer the question, I think that Tayshaun Prince is more valuable to Detroit than most would realise. His numbers (15, 5, 3) aren’t astonishing, but Prince is one of those whose contributions go beyond the statistics. While the Pistons’ front office may have done a horrible job in drafting Darko, Tayshaun’s play does at least partially justify their decision to let Carmelo fall to the Nuggets. Although I find it hard to lavish praise on a player who could turn sideways and hide behind a lamppost, I can’t deny that he was a key factor in Detroit’s championship. In short, they should give him the fifty million he wants or somebody else may drop a bag of money on his desk and lure him away from the Murder Capital.
C.Y. you the man.
– Anonymous
Why do my biggest fans never leave their name? Is it really that shameful to enjoy my work? It’s like wearing a Utah jersey under a t-shirt.
OF THE SUM OF US$900,000.00
 OF THE AUGT, 28th 2005
THE SUM OF US$ 900,000,00
You think that’s lucky? I’ve won about a dozen of these since yesterday morning. Once I’ve paid the five-thousand-dollar clearing fees, I’ll be a millionaire. I’m thinking of using the cash to buy all the chains Allen Iverson won’t be wearing any more. Either that, or I’ll acquire every copy of Ron Artest’s new album so as to eliminate the possibility that someone picks it up out of curiosity.
Well, that’s just about enough for you all to cope with for one day. Keep those emails ( and comments coming in, and I’ll keep responding. With enough feedback, we could turn Ask Chuck into a daily affair.
Until tomorrow, take it easy.