Free Dresscodo, Pt. 2148: WWFBPD?

Yeah, it's another dress code post. If you don't like it, you can look at this.

THC has already broken down a lot of players' responses to the dress code, but the question remains: WWFBPD? In order to answer this question, we need to first look at what makes a player an FBP candidate in the first place. There's the middle class background, the generally classy demeanor, the charity work, the art collection, and so on. But, we're talking about the First Black President here, so surely politics must come into play? Or, in this post-Jordan world, is one more likely to gain potential FBP status by not taking a stand on divisive issues? After all, pundits were discussing Colin Powell as a legitimate, real-life FBP, and no one knows where he stands on anything.

There is also the question of whether the FBP is one who transcends race, is a spokesperson for the race, or skillfully navigates the area between the two. In the wake of Katrina, Shoals suggested that Kanye was entering into FBP territory after making his comments about Bush and his lack of feeling toward black folks. So, if a carefully played race card is somehow indicative of FBP status, should we be singing the praises of Allen Iverson and Stephen Jackson for defending the culture from attacks by The Man?

It's helpful, but still really confusing, to look at where some of the key players in the NBA's culture wars have come out on this issue. Ricky Davis, who has the weirdest facial hair this side of Scott Pollard and who once intentionally shot on his own basket during a game, has said that the dress code is "no biggie," and that he's cool with it. Likewise, the Big Poet, Etan Thomas, who has repeatedly attacked the Bush Administration over the war in Iraq and its slow and inadequate response to Katrina, says: "It's not as bad as it could've been."

On the other side, we have such clean-cut, throwback players as Wally Szczerbiak and Tim Duncan saying the dress code is "way too strict" and "bascially retarded," respectively. What's an FBP to do?

Ultimately, a player with the wisdom of the FBP would realize this isn't the battle that will define his legacy in the Association. We're not talking about life and death, we're talking about clothes. Certainly, Iverson, Jackson, and others have valid points about the importance of fashion and self-expression, but there are bigger fish to fry. Even Iverson has backed down some from his earlier stance.

So, what would the FBP do? We need look no further than the man who inspired the term in the first place--Ray Allen. Allen has stayed the middle course, acknowledging the necessity of the dress code, while also criticizing its overreaching, and never using the "R" word: "I think the dress code should strictly [enforce] what guys wear on the bench when they are not playing. That is when guys are most visible. But when we are on the plane, that is when we are most leisurely. I don't think that should matter." He hath spoken.

Note: Did anyone else notice Rip's NBA toiletry bag? Do you think they give those out for free, or did he have to buy it at the NBA store?

Fuck, am I writing like Carrie Bradshaw now?


At 10/20/2005 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking as a Bucks fan, I nominate Desmond Mason as a darkhorse FBP canidate.

When he got traded here he quickly stepped into the role Ray Allen left.

Classy demeanor? There.

Middle class background? I'm not too sure.

Charity work? Tons.

Art collection? Not only does he sport a collection he even paints himself.

He also has the adoration of all the white folks in the area, much like Walter Ray did.

- Ramo

At 10/20/2005 5:06 PM, Blogger No1CanCMardyC said...

Mason lacks a little in the foreign diplomacy department after his scrap w/ Pau Gasol, no?

At 10/20/2005 5:50 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

i wonder if AI thought like the whole league was going to rally around him and have some huge revolt...and then all of a sudden ricky davis is all good with the d-code, and AI has to think his strategy.

also, did anyone see the kobe quote "we're talking about clothes" ? he said his piece in the EXACT same cadence that AI did in his "practice" press conference...(e.g. "we talkin about CLOTHES...[not a game, not a game]...CLOTHES")

At 10/20/2005 6:05 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i noticed that one of iverson's statements about individuals' needs to express themselves, and this being a league of individuals, the first thing he said was "t-mac and kobe aren't the same." meaning to me that AI and kobe are cool with each other, and i would be surprised if kobe had done that on purpose. though it seems like something he's shrewd enough to, if he were so inclined

At 10/20/2005 8:30 PM, Blogger Ian said...

I'm sure you've read Phil Jackson's quote by now about how players look like they're wearing "prison garb." How has no one made the obvious Kobe joke yet? I haven't made a dress code post yet, so I'll leave it to you.

At 10/20/2005 10:25 PM, Anonymous luol dang said...

see? look at that pic. chauncey is looking DOPE, and rip looks like shit, even by not-so-lofty thoeback-and-chain standards. this reminds me somewhat of what goes down in my own profession - i'm a trader in the bond markets, and some of the kids i work with are like 27, pulling down half a mil a year, wearing some raggedy ass adidas cross trainers and some univeristy of southern illinois t-shirt they copped in their senior year. i just don't get it man. me and my homie marko who trades next to me (who, incidentally, grew up balling with marko jaric and vladimir radmanovic in serbia) always talk about that if we ever even have a little taste of that kind of dough - even a fraction of it - we're going to dress the part. not suits and shit, but clean sneakers, sweaters, polos, button downs for days, whatever. at least looking clean and classy. somewhere in between jay-z and kanye west i guess.

so yeah, the heavy handedness of the dress code kind of sucks, but as far as i'm concerned ol' stern is doing these boys a favor. and trust, the true class ballers in the league don't need the help. just look at chauncey.

At 10/21/2005 10:51 AM, Blogger emynd said...

"me and my homie marko who trades next to me (who, incidentally, grew up balling with marko jaric and vladimir radmanovic in serbia) always talk about that if we ever even have a little taste of that kind of dough - even a fraction of it - we're going to dress the part."

My comment here is completely different more class-based territory that has little to do with the NBA dress code, but the dudes you're talking about who dress like goofs were probably rich their whole lives. They don't have to "dress the part" because they have been living the part their whole lives. It's one of the basic differences between "old money" and "new money" (i.e. Eliza Doolittle from "The Importance of Being Earnest").

English major in the house!



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