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NBA coaching staffs will continue to wear matching team attire for the 2022-23 season
An overwhelming majority of coaches voted in favor of wearing polos and quarter-zips for games, NBA Coaches Association President Rick Carlisle explained.
For the third straight season, NBA coaching staffs will wear team-issued Nike attire on the bench during games. The overwhelming majority of coaches, including assistants, once again voted in favor of this prior to the 2022-23 season.
It was then approved by the NBA, said Rick Carlisle, the head coach of the Indiana Pacers and the president of the National Basketball Coaches Association.
“We take a poll in our Coaches Association, but we also have to work with the league on this,” Carlisle detailed one day before opening night. “It’s not just because we take a vote, we do what we want to do. We have to work with them to come up with the right thing. Our discussions with the league about this over the last three years have been very constructive and everybody’s heart is in the right place.
“It’s been good for our coaches, especially our assistant coaches who don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of suits. It’s great for our partnership with Nike. We’re wearing another Nike (logo) out in front of the camera.
“And it’s a reflection of today’s world in many respects. Corporate America, in more cases than not, to more of a casual type of approach. This is something that has made a lot of sense for a lot of reasons and we appreciate the league’s spirit of cooperation as we’ve gone through it. It’s a bit of a surprise to me why the media is so fixated on it, but it’s better for Nike that they are.”
Coaches continuing to wear matching team gear, usually polos or quarter-zips, was expected. It’s one less decision to be made on game day and it’s really helpful on road trips. Like when the Pacers head out west for a seven-game trip after Thanksgiving. Instead of packing (and tending to), say, five different suits for seven games, they will pack a handful of different tops that take up the space of one suit.
It’s a clean look, especially compared to NFL head coaches, who are often in hoodies, or MLB managers wearing a game uniform.
Marc Stein, who is also an independent journalist on Substack, first reported that leisure attire would continue last month.
It’s also a uniform look. The coaches wearing the same thing provides a sense and look of togetherness. It’s unifying. And most of all — this is sports, not a business meeting. There’s a practicality to what they wear as well. They can still add a personal touch with their shoes, for example.
“It’s well over 80% of our head and assistant coaches that prefer this look and this approach,” Carlisle said. “Those numbers are very strong and we really have made equal our assistant coaches’ voice in decisions like this relative to our relationship with the league.”
So once again, NBA coaches will no longer wear suits … because they don’t have to. And that’s what a strong majority of coaches prefer.
When did NBA coaches stop wearing suits? During the pandemic in 2020, games restarted in a restricted area at a Disney property in Orlando, Fla. There were no fans and a smaller traveling party.
How many coaches are on each staff? It varies, depending on the head coach’s wishes and what management allows. There are three assistant coaches sitting on the front of the bench and several more behind.
How many people does this decision impact? About 15-20, per team. And more than just the coaching staff. Player development coaches, athletic trainers, sports performance coaches, massage therapists, and even public relations personnel etc.
How long does the season last? Opening night is Oct. 18, 2022 and the NBA Finals is played into June.
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