October 17, 2005 is a day that will live in NBA style infamy. Then-commissioner David Stern, part-time NARC dad and professional fun-buster, announced that the National Basketball Association would implement a mandatory dress code for all players—including D-League scrubs. It was the first professional sports league that had such a rule, even though soccer players have been dressing terrible since forever (David Beckham being one of the few exceptions to the rule). The dress code went into effect for the 2005-2006 season, and initially, it was criticized as specifically targeting hip-hop style trends like big chains, tall white T-shirts, du-rags, and Timberland boots. It took a long, long time for ballers to figure out with how to bend its rules enough to look fly.

A decade later, super stylish basketball players are pretty common. The fashion world realized the tall, lean body types favored by the sport made them ideal clothes hangers, and hip-hop style evolved as well, transforming from the baggy sweatsuits favored by Iverson and Fat Joe alike to just about every shade of the "could I pull this off in public?" spectrum. Word to guys like Dennis Rodman who were pushing the envelope for decades prior to the dress code. Herein, we chart the evolution of basketball players' style and their interpretation of the dress code throughout the decade.

Illustrations by Jonathan Fouabi

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