The NBA has walked back their original stance of requiring players to show up to the games already dressed in their uniforms. The league is now saying that they will allow players to wear their own clothes to the facility and change into their uniforms once they enter the locker room like they usually do.
The league said players may now wear “relaxed” pieces from their personal wardrobes so long as the items are neat and clean in appearance– and that includes “presentable” shorts. The league has also gotten rid of a rule that would require players to wear a sport coat while being on the bench. While players are sitting on the bench and not playing, they are still required to wear pants.
“Considering the unique environment on the NBA Disney campus and warmer weather conditions, a different policy was put in place for players’ arrival and entry into the arenas,” an NBA spokesperson said to ESPN.
Players are currently being tested every day, while also loosely practicing social distancing while not playing and also wearing masks.
It might be tough to recreate the tunnel– which is where players show off their latest kicks and glistening chains– we typically see all over Instagram or before any game’s broadcast because things will be a bit different.
For starters, teams will board gapped row busses in compliance with social distance rules for the 15-minute drive to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and HB Field House’s primary game court. Once the players get off the bus, the photographers will be there to capture the outfits and pre-game vibes.
If there’s one player who’s happy that the league has changed its initial stance, it’s sneakerhead and Houston Rocket PJ Tucker.
“It just doesn’t feel NBA to me,” Tucker told ESPN’s Nick DePaula about the initial tunnel walk ban. “It wasn’t even about the tunnel walk, it was more about getting dressed up and going to work. To me, it’s like a mindset, getting dressed and getting ready to go to my game. It puts me in the mindset that I’m ready to work and helps me find my focus.”
The NBA season is set to resume on July 30, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the league can salvage what’s left of this very odd campaign.