Raps cool with dress code

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:54 AM ET

The Toronto media seems to be more worried about the NBA's new dress code than the players.

Almost to a man, the Raptors dismissed suggestions yesterday that the NBA's new dress code, which calls for casual business attire for basketball-related appearances including interview situations and travel, is either outrageous or any type of burden.

"My only question is, can I write it off?" forward Eric Williams joked. "If that's the case, it shouldn't be a problem."

Head coach Sam Mitchell, considered one of the more dapper guys in the league, believes pros in any sport should dress appropriately.

"I don't see anything wrong with a dress code," he said.

"It's a privilege to play in the NBA (and) if you're that much of individual, if it's that important to you, then don't play."

Jalen Rose, another one of the more hip guys on the team in terms of wardrobe, agreed it isn't a big problem, but questioned the reasons behind the new dress code, believing it is the NBA's way of appeasing white, corporate America.

"They're probably scared your kid will be wearing a bandana," Rose said. "But at the end of the day, whatever I wear to the game, whether I have on jewelry, a sports coat or not, when I dribble up the court, I'm still going to hear Notorious B, I'm still going to hear Tupac."

Matt Bonner, the Raptors' player representative, said the dress code is a positive step.

"I don't think you'd see someone working for Donald Trump's corporation walking into the boardroom with sunglasses on," he said.

"Sunglasses, do-rags, that kind of thing ... it's not good for the league's image."

Jose, you're in

Mitchell probably will give rookie point guard Jose Calderon his first start of the pre-season tonight at the Air Canada against ex-Raptor Vince Carter and the New Jersey Nets.

Mitchell likely will also start rookie forward Charlie Villanueva and Matt Bonner in the absence of veteran Morris Peterson, who hurt his foot during practice yesterday.

In other injury news, Chris Bosh was still feeling the effects of the flu yesterday, but is expected to play tonight.

Not expected to dress: Eric Williams (sore right knee), Joey Graham (left knee tendinitis), Pape Sow (groin strain) and Aaron Williams (sprained left ankle).


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