The 2021-22 NBA season has been a return to a new post-pandemic normal for most people around the game. For example, most players (except Kyrie Irving) are able to play an 82 game season. In-person media has returned to games. And arenas are allowing full crowd capacity again, of course provided that fans wear face masks, and perhaps some other conditions like showing their coronavirus vaccine status.
There is one condition that hasn’t changed since the NBA had their 2020 bubble in Orlando, Florida, Coaches are still wearing casual dress, like polo shirts, quarter zips and sneakers for the third consecutive season. This is in part because the league allowed it, according to Marc Stein of The Stein Line.
NBA coaches will be allowed in 2021-22 to wear casual attire rather than suits during games for the second consecutive season, sources say. The practice started in the Disney World bubble during the league's summer of 2020 restart.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) September 14, 2021
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That said, one notable journalist wants coaches to get back into their suits. After all, some coaches have just looked more distinctive in their tailored coats, dress pants, etc.
Candace Buckner of The Washington Post wrote a column last Thursday on coaches’ wardrobe change since the pandemic. In the past, we would see someone like Washington Wizards head coach Wes Unseld, Jr. wear one of possibly many tailored suits he owns into the building with an arrangement of ties, pocket squares, alligator skin dress shoes, and cufflinks.
But now, as Buckner says, coaches many now only “pass for a high school administrator — they can probably draw up an ATO play and proctor an ACT exam at the same time.”
In the East Coast, we tend to use the SAT more, but I get it.
Buckner wrote that the NBCA, the coaches’ union had a partnership with The Men’s Wearhouse to offer 10 custom looks for free because it’s tough for a coach to wear just two or three suits over an 82 game (if not longer season). That deal expired two seasons ago.
Buckner is pretty clear in her opinion: there is an art of coaches wearing a suit for their games. For me, I don’t mind the casual look, but it’s also good to see that all the coaches are wearing the same quarter zip or polo shirt as a sign of unity. That said, I don’t mind if Unseld or any coach wishes to wear a suit or not in future games.
Would you like to see coaches wear suits again? Let us know in the comments below.