The NBA Never Actually Banned Mock Turtlenecks

12 10 2010

Two weeks ago, news broke that the NBA had outlawed mock turtlenecks for coaches for this season. It was bad news for the Orlando Magic’s Stan Van Gundy, who had to find a whole new wardrobe. That’s a tough task when you have to prepare a contending team for a new season.

Except it turns out that SVG doesn’t have anything to worry about, because the NBA actually didn’t outlaw his favorite type of top. From the Orlando Sentinel (via BDL):

Stan Van Gundy can keep his Miami Vice look after all. Van Gundy was mistaken about the NBA’s wardrobe rule changes, and no one in the media checked if he had it right until Sunday. Shame on us.

That’s great news for fans of sartorial freedom. They say the clothes make the man, and that’s true even if he makes some questionable fashion choices. It’s a mode of self-expression like any other, and it shouldn’t be restricted at all.

But how in the name of Mr. Blackwell did Van Gundy come to believe that he couldn’t wear his treasured turtlenecks? For that answer, we must return to the original article from the Associated Press:

In an appreciative gesture, Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide — after extending Van Gundy’s contract through 2013 — even had tailors fit the coach and some front-office members with suits. So, yes, a fully suited Van Gundy is coming to NBA sidelines.

Maybe even sometimes with a tie.

I think it’s pretty obvious what happened here: Bob Vander Weide made up a new rule because he didn’t like the way Van Gundy looked. I can see the scene at Magic HQ now:

“Oh hey, Stan, have some bad news for you. The NBA outlawed mock turtlenecks. … Yeah, I don’t know why they won’t let you wear clothes I haven’t had since 1994 either. Don’t worry, though. I’ll buy you a suit or two. Just remember to get a few extra ties so you don’t run out of looks. … No, it’s not as much work as it sounds.”

It’s a bold move by Vander Weide, and one I applaud. It can be difficult to bring these issues up in a delicate matter, so it’s often a good idea to just avoid the issue altogether and lie.

It could even catch on as a management style. Pretty soon, look for James Dolan to tell Mike D’Antoni that wild gesticulations and stomps at nothing in particular are instant ejections. Maybe David Kahn will inform Kurt Rambis that you can only play point guards and small forwards now.

Perhaps Donald Sterling will even tell Vinny Del Negro that organized fights between coaches and general managers are now a rule. Sterling has legal debts to pay, and he hears that Neil Olshey has a glass jaw.