Oct 182005
Authors: Brett Okamoto

So the other day I made NBA Commissioner David Stern out of a broomstick and a hat and decided to grill him with 21 questions about the new dress code policy he's made for the 2005-06 season. Please don't answer Dave, just sit there and think about this for a second.

Why the new policy, Dave? Why risk ticking off your players? What is the league getting out of it?

To be honest I don't care what the players are wearing. Whether Shaq is wearing a $5,000 suit or a Playboy Bunny outfit, if he's not on the court, he's not whom I'm watching at a basketball game.

And I don't think I'm in the minority on that point. I think, and hope, that when people go to the game they're more interested in the score than whether or not the players on the sideline pressed their shirts.

So if there is no outcry, no angry parent letters, no rioting in the streets – why Dave? Why force these guys to dress up like Prom Night when half of them were born and raised in the streets?

And you wouldn't stop there, would you? Not only are you taking rights away from your players at their games, now they have a dress code when they simply go as fans.

Personally I find athletes to be some of the most interesting people in the world. Instead of trying to mold them into what they're not, we should promote them as they are.

I hate to say it Dave, but maybe you should've listened to Allen Iverson on this one. Iverson's statement to press, "Just because you put a guy in a tuxedo, it doesn't mean he's a good guy," is 100 percent accurate.

I don't really want to see Ron Artest in a suit this season Mr. Stern. I'd feel like I was being lied to. It'd be like hearing Ashlee Simpson really sing one of her songs live instead of lip-syncing. And no one is interested in that.

These guys are role models for our youth. What's the more important lesson: being proud of who you are and where you came from, or looking nice?

I'm starting to lose you Dave so I'm going to end this by giving you a little advice. Last year you had the brawl at the palace, you had Larry Brown manipulate the entire world into thinking he actually didn't want to leave Detroit and the nausea lingered on from Kobe's trial in Colorado. If you want to do something for the league, try something people will notice and appreciate.

Thank you, I'll put you back in the closet now.

Brett Okamoto is the Collegian Sports editor. His column runs every Wednesday.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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