No fashion show, NBA players must arrive attired

ORLANDO • Players will be required to "be in uniform" when they arrive, either for National Basketball Association (NBA) games or warm-ups at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which is part of Disney World in Florida.

The season, which went into hiatus on March 11 owing to the coronavirus pandemic, is set to resume on July 30, with 22 teams returning to play the remainder of the shortened regular-season calendar that will determine the final four play-off spots and seedings.

Player entrances into their respective home arenas as well as when they go through the tunnel into their locker room have become popular pseudo red-carpet shows, with some players using the opportunity to sport a variety of fashion styles.

But that will not happen inside the league's "bubble", which has been closed to the public.

According to ESPN, the NBA has told players to get dressed in their full uniforms in their hotel rooms.

The broadcaster said one factor behind the decision is that the team locker rooms at the arena do not have showers.

Changing in close quarters without showering would be in conflict with the league's desire to prioritise sanitation and social distancing amid the pandemic.

The league will have players leave the arena 40 minutes after the completion of their game and head back to their hotel.

Houston Rockets' P.J. Tucker, one of the league's most fashionable players, laughed when told of the plan.

"That is crazy," said the guard. "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...

"I'm not feeling it. It just doesn't feel NBA to me, but it is what it is."

The report added that numerous players intend to use their sneakers and customised masks to make their fashion statements instead.

The NBA plans to resume with a double-header - Utah Jazz v New Orleans Pelicans and the Clippers v Lakers in an all-Los Angeles battle.

The Lakers, however, will not be able to call on guard Rajon Rondo after he broke his thumb in practice on Sunday, ruling him out for up to eight weeks.