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Dress Code This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Fans’ appetites for basketball facts and news are usually satisfied, but this past season many were disappointed by the focus on the NBA dress code. The rule, which requires players to wear “business casual” whenever they engage in team or league business, has been subject to the controversy that I believe this off-the-court rule deserves.

The league is trying to repair the thug-image issue it has endured since the Pacers-Pistons’ brawl last year, and some players and coaches agree. Phil Jackson said players need to stop wearing their “prison garb” and Lebron James believes that the players must dress professionally. But success in this goal will not come easy since many players have voiced their opinions against it. Vince Carter thinks players should be able to express themselves; Stephen Jackson claims it is racist, and Jalen Rose thinks if the rule sticks that they should receive a clothing allowance.

The rule digs into deeper issues like offending the hip-hop culture by banning most clothes considered as such. In my opinion, it is wrong to limit one’s freedom of expression because when emotions cannot be expressed externally, emotional scarring may happen internally, resulting in more altercations.

I see why the league is enforcing this style, but in the end can the league change a thug into a gentleman by putting a suit on him?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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