Update: A Phiten representative clarified that players will not be allowed to wear the necklaces on court. Those are meant to be worn by fans. Players have been wearing Phiten bracelets since last year, though.
Earlier: Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets recently signed an endorsement deal with Phiten, the maker of those titanium necklaces that are popular among Major League Baseball Players.
Paul Lukas of ESPN.com spoke with a Phiten representative, who stated that NBA players would soon be wearing the Phiten necklaces on the court.
Other than giving NBA players an excuse to look awful on the court, what is interesting here is that wearing the necklaces would require a change to two NBA rules.
According to the NBA rules changes that took affect in the 1980-81 season:
Officials shall not permit any players to play with any type of hand, arm face, nose, ear, head, or neck jewelry.
Will Phiten be able to convince that NBA that their necklaces are not “jewelry”? It would seem that the issue here is safety and not fashion. Certainly the NBA banned neckware due to the risk of fingers or hands getting caught in the necklaces.
Another issue is the inclusion of a manufacturer’s logo on players. According NBA Rules, the only non-NBA logo that can be worn by players during a game are the logos on their shoes.
No matter what the function, it is hard to imagine why the NBA would suddenly allow Phiten necklaces. And yet, the Phiten rep seems convinced that the necklaces will be allowed.
So maybe Phiten has struck a deal directly with the NBA, and the league has chosen the almighty dollar over safety and common sense.
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