NBA coaches can wear polo shirts next season; must wear masks, too


For years, there was a dress code for NBA coaches that involved a sportcoat. In the bubble, that got put on hold and coaches could wear polos and be a little more chill.

The coaches liked it and voted to bring the polos back this season. Those coaches will also have to wear masks during games. Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski of EPSN broke the news.

The NBA’s health and safety protocols for the upcoming season mandate that all coaches, including head coaches, wear masks at all times while coaching — a change from the in-game mask policy during the league’s summer restart in Florida. The guidelines warn that coaches “must not regularly pull down their facemasks more than is occasionally necessary under the circumstances to perform essential coaching duties.”

The NBA and NBCA also agreed to continue the practice of more casual game attire, no longer requiring coaches to wear sports jackets, sources said. Coaches voted more than 2-to-1, sources said, to allow for wearing polo shirts in games, sources said. Coaches must wear business attire, such as dress shirts, pants, socks and shoes, sources said. Polo shirts count as a dress shirt. The NBA will disallow sweat-pants and jogging pants.

The masks should be a given. They also should be a given in general society at this point, but that’s an entirely different debate.

Not everyone loves the polos, personally, I like the look. These are basketball coaches, not stiff executives at IBM (Brad Stevens is the possible exception), let them dress like it. The coordinated shirts and looks of the coaching staff in the bubble worked for me.

This is likely the future, it’s difficult to imagine next year the league going back to having coaches in sport coats and ties (and it’s hard to imagine the coaches voting for that).

The National Basketball Coaches Association also said that all the NBA coaches will participate this season, not a given considering that some coaches’ age puts them at higher risk should they contract COVID-19.