Picking the NBA season
November 3, 2005
Instituting a dress code for employees would be no big deal for most every business or sport. In the National Basketball Association, however, it was the story of the preseason.
The new NBA dress code is mainly an attack on those players who are often clothed much like their favorite rap music stars. Now, all players must wear collars and no exposed necklaces to and from arenas.
The most outspoken opponent of the dress code, to no surprise, was Philadelphia 76er Allen Iverson. If you ask him, his clothes are just a form of self-expression, and they should not be regulated.
The conflicts come in the interpretations of what messages are being sent by the players who wear such clothes, and their hip-hop music.
Commissioner David Stern and many others obviously feel that rap music is bad because it promotes drugs, violence, sexual promiscuity and greed. All Stern has to do is turn the televison on to watch rap videos with more guns, jewelry and nudity than you can shake a stick at. Oh, and all the cussing the music has!
If you ask Iverson, hip-hop is simply the music of his generation. Society is deteriorating, and the music reflects what life is like on the streets of many American cities. All a citizen has to do is open his window and tell us what he sees. People cuss everywhere.
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One day hopefully people will be able to look back on rap music and the hip-hop generation without such negative feelings. Remember, there was a time when Elvis Presley could be televised only from the waist up, and the Beatles were going to ruin society.
But right now you can’t blame Commissioner Stern for distancing himself from rap music. Stern is a businessman first, and he knows that most of the people who buy his game tickets don’t like rap.
After Indiana Pacer Ron Artest, himself a rap artist and producer, and teammate Jermaine O’Neal went ballistic last year in a crowd-punching tirade, it was time for Commissioner Stern to start taking control of his sport. Although a dress code might not seem like much of a response to player violence, it did send a message to them, as to who is the boss. After all, Stern’s dress code is fair and not a racist policy, since every player must adhere to it.
The gut feeling here is that many people who fill arena seats think that Allen Iverson is ugly and dresses inappropriately. Many parents most likely feel that their children would be better influenced by athletes that look better when wearing suits and ties. The dress code policy is a good one if only for that reason.
Predictions: Western Conference –
Southwest Division – San Antonio
Northwest – Denver
Pacific – Los Angeles Lakers
Other playoff teams – Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Sacramento and Seattle
Eastern Conference –
Southeast Division – Miami
Central – Indiana
Atlantic – New Jersey
Other playoff teams – Detroit, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.
Finals – San Antonio over Miami