The NBA is not like every other sports league.
The league has its own set of unique qualities, dictated by nothing more than where and when and who plays the game professionally.
The league is played indoors. Barring natural disasters, there are no weather-related cancellations. The NBA is also played in a comfortable environment. Even in the days before air conditioning and temperature control were as common as beer and peanuts, there was a lack of direct exposure to the elements means that you won't see fans in rain slickers, ski jackets or wool scarves.
Then there are the players. NBA players are, for the most part, in exceptional physical shape. Their long and lean bodies aren't like those of other professional athletes. NFL players tend to be very muscular and in some cases outrageously wide-bodied.
Baseball players are known as much for those players that are portrayed as out of shape as for those that are elite athletes.
There was also a considerable period of time before commissioner David Stern decided to run his league like a boarding school that the players were allowed to showcase their own personal style without the constraints of a rigid dress code.
When a player is injured or sick or recovering from an injury, he will attend games and he might even travel with the team, but rather than wearing shorts and the team issued warm-ups while on the bench, he will wear a suit. These days, he has to.
The rigid NBA Dress Code instituted in 2005 is detailed in what players can and can't wear and when they can and can't wear certain items of clothing.
Nonetheless, pre-and-post dress code there have always been individual players whose style has stood out. Some have been good players, some have been great players and some weren't that great at all. Some of the best dressed players of all time were also among the greatest players of all time. That's why men like Wilt, Magic, Jordan, Kobe and Wade won't be appearing in this slideshow. As well dressed as they all are or were, their basketball skills are what made them.
For some on this list, the clothes really did make the man.