The NBA fashion rules were something very controversial in the 2000s. Former commissioner David Stern was very clear about what he wanted to see in his players and he made everybody follow the rules messing with their pockets.
One of the most memorable moments came in 2005 when the NBA fined the Philadelphia 76ers $200,000 thanks to Allen Iverson, John Salmons, Kyle Korver and Kevin Ollie. The reason? They had long shorts that were below their knees, something that couldn’t be done.
The league fined a lot of players at that moment, but Philly had the most. Each player was fined $10K but every team had to pay $50,000 for each violation of the rule. The Sixers had to pay $200K while the players’ union was unhappy with the punishment.
The league has been on the lookout for violations of the rule that states a player's shorts cannot extend below 0.1 inch above the knee. To date, $10,000 fines have been handed out to New York's Nate Robinson and Stephon Marbury; Philadelphia's John Salmons, Kyle Korver, Allen Iverson and Kevin Ollie; Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal, Stephen Jackson and Jamaal Tinsley; Jeff McInnis of New Jersey; and Voshon Lenard, DerMarr Johnson and Andre Miller of Denver.
On top of the player fines, the teams were fined $50,000 for each violation.
The league acknowledged receipt of the union's grievance and said it had cited more than twice as many violators as it did a year ago.
"There are rules, just as there are rules with other parts of our game," NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik told ESPN.com's Darren Rovell. "It just seems like this year, there has been laxity on the part of some of the teams."
This is really curious and it shows how seriously Stern took this whole thing. Allen Iverson was a recurrent victim of those rules, as the league was trying to change the image of its players. It worked and now we see players wearing more formal outfits before games and even when they’re just sitting on the bench cheering their teammates.
They came a long way but the league ultimately reached its goal.