I checked out the Los Angeles Lakers at their Staples Center home opener the other day and, man, they looked good. I'm not saying they played all that well -- they lost. I'm saying they looked good.
Heck, their starting lineup (and coach) looked phat, fly and fan-tastic.
Smush Parker: Armani Collezioni three-button wool suit, with full rayon lining; Ike Behar plaid necktie in Italian silk; cool suspenders and really nice shoes.
Lamar Odom: Hugo Boss "Bodego" sport coat (soft brushed cotton gives it a velvety feel); Robert Talbott shirt, with classic twill check design, single-needle tailoring and split-yoke construction.
Devean George: John W. Nordstrom "William" dress shirt, with mother-of-pearl buttons; David Donahue cuff links, in sterling silver with rich bands of blue; plus a nifty English walking cap.
Kobe Bryant: Joseph Abboud navy stripe suit -- pants include two-pleat front, zip fly with hook-and-eye closure and back welt pockets; Cole Haan "Cooper" zip boot in soft, tumbled goatskin.
Kwame Brown: Ben Sherman French cuff shirt, with knotted silk buttons; Salvatore Ferragamo gold-buckle reversible belt (it's reversible!); Polo Ralph Lauren "Zahide" loafer, with leather upper and rubber sole (it's like wearing slippers to work!).
Phil Jackson: The Immaculate Collection, by Phil Jackson.
As most of you know by now, NBA Commissioner David Stern has devised a new dress code for players. Stern wants less 50 Cent, more Top Dollar.
Here's the long of it: While on NBA business, Stern says no shorts, T-shirts, jerseys, sweaters and flip-flops; no sunglasses indoors or headphones; no chains, medallions or pendants over players' clothing.
Here's the short of it: Stern wants everyone to look like Russ Granik!
Alas, I have three questions for the benevolent dictator.
1. If it's all about perception, why did you ever allow the 76ers to change their uniforms from red, white and blue to gangsta black?
2. Now that you've got your compliant farmhands looking business-sharp, does the league's health insurance policy cover tattoo removal?
3. It's nice to get everybody primp and proper sartorially speaking, but shouldn't you worry more about your players SPRINTING INTO THE STANDS TO WAYLAY PAYING CUSTOMERS?
Allen Iverson almost got it right when he said, "You can put a murderer in a suit and he's still a murderer."
(I would've been incredibly impressed if Iverson had said, "You can put a Halliburton executive in a suit and he's still a Halliburton executive.")
On the other hand, let's consider Nuggets star Marcus Camby's contention that the NBA should provide players a clothing allowance to adhere to the new dress code. Camby is set to earn more than $7 million this season. Marcus, follow me on this: If you set aside, say, one-tenth of 1 percent of your salary -- that would be $7,000 -- you could buy 10 nice suits off the rack and still have money left over for socks and shoelaces.
Anyhow, Camby gets hurt so often, he's just upset that when he sits at the end of the bench, he'll have to pose in that boardroom look. Indeed, why should he? Moreover, if you're injured, you shouldn't even be on the bench. When Matthew Broderick couldn't perform in "The Producers," he didn't show up and sit in the orchestra pit.
Besides, I think they should do something about the dress code on the floor. I've got an attention span that's shorter than the trunks they wear nowadays. Shouldn't they be wearing something that doesn't inhibit movement? I don't remember seeing Carl Lewis running in jodhpurs. Not to mention, I'm rooting for the Portland Trail Blazers this season because Coach Nate McMillan has a no-headband rule. If I want to see people working in headbands, I'll go intern with the Taliban.
And nobody asked me, but if you want to look good in one easy step off the court, do what I do:
Ask The Slouch
Q. If you were a betting man, would you wager on the Saints staying in New Orleans? (Stan Gould; Falls Church)
A. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said last week that the NFL's focus continued to be on "having the Saints in Louisiana." In other words, they're as good as gone.
Q. Why don't you ever write about hockey? Everyone writes about football -- why not be different? (Jennifer Chad; Silver Spring)
A. You want me to be different? Fine. I'll also be unemployed. Plus, I can't believe this is the only way I hear from my own niece. Geez. You need cash? Dip into your father's 401(k).
Q. On their pretzel bags, "Snyder's of Hanover" has a disclaimer saying they are not connected to "Snyder of Berlin." Do you think the Cardinals of St. Louis should have something similar on their uniforms in regard to the Cardinals of Arizona? (Rick Bigus; Colorado Springs)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
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