Rich man, poor man

Marcus Camby

Poor rich man, punk

The NBA is going to impose a dress code on players in an attempt to clean up the league's image. The league is calling for players to dress in "business casual" attire whenever involved in team business. According to the league website, this means:

  • A long or short-sleeved dress shirt (collared or turtleneck), and/or a sweater.
  • Dress slacks, khaki pants, or dress jeans.
  • Appropriate shoes and socks, including dress shoes, dress boots, or other presentable shoes, but not including sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, or work boots.

Apparently these modest requirements are considered by some an onerous burden:

Marcus Camby of the Denver Nuggets, whose contract will pay him nearly $50 million over the next five years, told an interviewer before the code was imposed, "I don't see it happening unless every NBA player is given a stipend to buy clothes."
Los Angeles Times, 19-Oct-05

Alms for the poor! Alms for the poor!

Now, I know nothing of Mr Camby, and I wasn't there. Perhaps he is endowed with a keen sense of wry humor and made his comment with a wink and a smile. But something tells me he didn't.

Marcus Camby mugshot

This, after all, is the Marcus Camby who was often described during his four-year tenure in New York as "immature, injury-prone, overrated" (Rocky Mountain News, 10-Oct-05). This is the Marcus Camby who, as a player at the University of Massachusetts, set off an investigation for accepting improper gifts from sports agents (South Coast Today). And this is the Marcus Camby whose mug shot can be found on the internet, stemming from an arrest for marijuana possession and "failure to drive in the proper lane" (MugShots.com).

Nope, I'm guessing that Camby is just another one of those professional athletes with an exaggerated sense of entitlement and license. It may not be an unexpected consequence of having been courted by the sports establishment and fawned over by fans, but it is certainly unattractive. With that kind of attitude, the NBA is going to need far more than a wardrobe makeover.


Brooks Brothers is the quintessential supplier of business attire. A nice outfit that would be sure to meet the NBA dress code can be had there for less than $1000 — and that's throwing in an optional tie.

Brooks Brothers outfit
Shirt, vintage tennis collar French cuff dress$108.00
Pant, pleat-front luxury flannel298.00
Shoes, cordovan leather blucher488.00
Socks, bird's eye anklet15.00
Tie, bias link silk59.50
Total$968.50

If someone making $10M a year cannot afford a decent shirt, pair of slacks, and shoes — even at Brooks Brothers prices — there is no hope for any of us. Gimme a break!

But if you're inclined to send donations to help out Mr Camby, he can be reached in care of the Denver Nuggets, 1000 Chopper Circle, Denver, CO 80204.