Don’t: Stifle Your Players
Commissioner Stern was a great thinker and yes, he had a brand to think about. However, the biggest gripe most still have with him was implementing the NBA dress code. It’s not that players shouldn't look like businessmen, rather that it should be their choice. The racial undertones of the dress code came at a time when hip-hop and the NBA were meeting in every sense of the word (Kobe, Shaq and even Spurs star Tony Parker all put out rap albums. Only Shaq went platinum).
Of course, the NBA’s style police have loosened up a bit. There’s even an argument that because of visibility, many daring NBA stars (like Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and James Harden) have become cultural style icons off the court. No shade at Stern because it worked out, but the rule still was a bit corny.