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Westsider Rider

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Damn right Scoop

Scoop Jackson has written a piece regarding the dress code and Phil Jackson's recent comments about how NBA players are dressing in relation to this dress code. Now I love Phil Jackson for what he can do on the court as a coach and a teacher for the Lakers but these statements that he made just aren't right. I definitely don't look at Coach Jackson the same anymore after these comments. Part of this discussion has been brought on by one we're having on one of my Fantasy Basketball leagues message boards about what Coach Jackson said and about the dress code. This forthcoming rant ties into what I think of the NBA dress code that David Stern is trying to implement. I understand why they're trying to do it but I don't think it's necessary and I believe it is just going to hurt them in the long run. The NBA is trying to turn it's back on the younger kids and the "Hip-Hop Generation" by implementing these changes. The league has been embracing this style and the culture into the league and now they're trying to change it because the corporate crowd is afraid of the players. If not for this hip hop crowd they've been catering to the past few years do you think the NBA would sell as much merchandise as it does today? No way and the league is turning its back on the future consumers of their product. I grew up a huge Lakers fan but I didn't have as much access to games/tickets because my parents were working too much and tickets were a lot and I didn't want to ask my parents for that kind of money. But now I'm grown up still a huge sports fan and I spend most of my disposable income on sports related goods whether it be tickets, apparel, merchandise, etc. Sure the corporate dollar is necessary but losing out on a large portion of kids who will be their future consumers is even worse. Without the people wanting to watch the product there will be no corporate dollar because they are only there to capitalize on all the people that watch the games. The fans are where everything begins and they must not forget that.

When I was growing up jerseys were not that popular and not as readily available as they are today. But as I went through high school and college jerseys became more popular and me being the extreme sports fan that I am went on a jersey rampage. I now own over 50 jerseys and try to wear them whenever I can. The main problem I have with it is they make it seem that people who wear jerseys and chains and what not are going to end up in jail, especially with Coach Jackson's "prison garb" statement. He also attacks hip-hop saying that the players don't have long attention spans due to hip-hop. I take offense to this as I own many jerseys and I wear them out as much as I can listening to hip-hop. Because I dress that way is it more likely to make me commit a crime?

I take a lot of offense to this because this "prison garb" and way these "criminals" dress is the way I prefer to dress. Sure you can see from my head shot I'm wearing a jersey and got my hat cocked to the side. Because of this, only in certain necessary circumstances, go to places with dress codes. If a place will not let me in because I'm wearing a jersey I will not go there. If they believe my "image" is not welcome I will not go to that establishment. Like Allen Iverson in a TV interview said "They're targeting my generation -- the hip-hop generation." He added, "You can put a murderer in a suit and he's still a murderer." The article which is from the Washington Post continues and agrees with my point on lost money from this change:
"For players such as Iverson, who like many stars has a
successful clothing line that melds basketball and hip-hop, the dress-code edict
could cost money in missed marketing opportunities."

Scoop also points out in his article, echoing the sentiments of Iverson:
"Would you rather us be like Karl Rove or Tom DeLay or Lewis Libby, Phil? Would you rather your Lakers players and the rest of the ballers in the NBA present themselves more like Enron's Kenneth Lay or Jeff Skilling? Arthur Andersen's Joe Berardino? Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski? WorldCom's Bernie Ebbers?
Maybe you'd rather them dress like Catholic priests.

Define prison garb, yo.

Or maybe in your next comment about "us" will you single out Lil' Kim, use her as an example of the jail mentality that comes with hip-hop's influence, but conveniently fail to mention Martha Stewart?"

David Stern thinks that by making a dress code all the image problems of the league will go away and it won't. It's pointless to make it a dress code, instead make harsher penalties for off the court problems. You think making Qyntel Woods dress up in a sport coat is going to stop him from smoking weed? Joey from Straight Bangin echoes my thoughts exactly as he says :

"but does anyone here actually think that Darius Miles is going to stop getting blunted because the scent is going to ruin his new Brooks Brothers suit? Is a player going to drive slower or go home earlier or desert the Gold Club or stay off the Fred Smoot Floating House of Assignation just because he's rocking gators and Armani? Fine someone some serious money for getting arrested, getting a DUI, and terrorizing a girlfriend."

Some people ask why I care so much about this dress code it's because I can see myself in this situation at times as people will judge me by how I dress. Just because I like to wear throwbacks and jeans with my T-Mac II All Star Colorways and you want to judge me differently then Fuck You. The NBA players will be the same regardless of the way they dress, and forcing them to dress differently won't change that, just as white collar criminals dress more formally but that doesn't change the fact that they're criminals. I dress the way I do but I'm not out there committing crimes, I've ended up pretty good, graduated the best university in all the land, once again that's the University of Michigan for those that don't know, despite my "prison garb" since I decided to wear a different jersey to class every day at one point my senior year and went over a month. So I will always fight for my right to dress how I feel like it and for those of you that don't like that then fuck y'all.


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