AS THEY visit NBA training camps, sneaker company reps should be ready for this question: "Do you have anything in a wing tip?" Commissioner David Stern has announced his intention to implement a dress code for inactive players on the bench and players at team functions and on road trips. Dress shirts and slacks will be mandatory; T-shirts, 'do-rags and the velour sweats that are all the rage will be verboten. "It's a small thing that contributes to a sense of professionalism," said Stern.
Dress codes in the NBA are nothing new. Coaches must wear sport coats and ties or turtlenecks. (Last season Denver's George Karl was fined $10,000 for wearing a throwback jersey during a game.) Players don't mind rules for sideline attire, but they object to being told what to wear away from the arena. (A league source says the policy could be announced next week.) Says Sixers guard Allen Iverson, "Just because you put a guy in a tuxedo doesn't make him a good guy."
PAUL SANCYA/AP (IVERSON)
CHRIS GARDNER/AP (O'NEAL)