After Cavalier’s losing the NBA finales game, LeBron James said:

“Tried as much as we could to try to make up for those guys, but it’s a lot of talent sitting in suits,” James said. “I’ve had a lot of playoff runs, been on both ends, and . . . you’ve got to be healthy. You’ve got to be playing great at the right time and you’ve got to have a little luck. We were playing great but we had no luck and we weren’t healthy.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/warriors-win-nba-title/2015/06/17/a

What does It’s ”a lot of talent sitting in suits” mean? Does it mean a lot of talents were not fully utilized in the finals because of injuries and physical breakdown, I mean they were sitting on bench?

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    A lot of talented ream members injured and thus not in uniform ready to play, but dressed in suits instead. – deadrat Jun 17 '15 at 9:13
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    @deadrat is correct. When an NBA player is not playing that night he would wear a suit and sit on the bench. (thought unusual, there still are times where player change into jersey and play) By the way, Lebron is talking about Love's and Erving's injuries. – RexYuan Jun 17 '15 at 9:51
  • @Rex Yuan. Is 'someone / talents sitting in suits' only applicable to sports, not other fields like technnology or business races? – Yoichi Oishi Jun 17 '15 at 20:18
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    In most business contexts, the people in suits are the active ones. Using this to refer to the people who are idle seems specific to sports, maybe even just basketball. – Barmar Jun 17 '15 at 22:02
  • @YoichiOishi As Barmar said, I think this phrase only makes sense in the fields where the nonactive ones wear suits. I watch only NBA, so I'm not sure about other sports. I would say it depends. Even NBA isn't always like this – RexYuan Jun 18 '15 at 0:14

”A lot of talent sitting in suits” means a lot of talented players are not playing.

Former commissioner of the NBA, David Stern, ratified the NBA dress code in 2005, which requires all players not playing that game to wear formal attire. So if a player shows up wearing a suit, he's probably not playing that night.

Wikipedia - NBA dress code:

Stern's dress code stated that all players must dress in business or conservative attire while arriving and departing during a scheduled game, on the bench while injured, and when conducting official NBA business (press interviews, charity events, etc.).

The original NBA Player Dress Code:

General Policy: Business Casual Players are required to wear Business Casual attire whenever they are engaged in team or league business. "Business Casual" attire means A long or short-sleeved dress shirt (collared or turtleneck), and/or a sweater. Dress slacks, khaki pants, or dress jeans. Appropriate shoes and socks, including dress shoes, dress boots, or other presentable shoes, but not including sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, or work boots.

According to Wikipedia, NBA is the first major professional sports league to implement such a rule. I'm not sure if there are other professional sports leagues that have similar rules.

By the way, to leave some context of what Lebron's talking about for future reference, today's NBA Injuries:

Cleveland Cavaliers: (Name / Status / Date)

Anderson Varejao / Out / Jun 17 Comment: Varejao (Achilles) was limited to 26 games after signing a contract extension. He averaged 9.6 points and 6.5 rebounds before going down for the season in late December.

Shawn Marion / Day-To-Day / Jun 17 Comment: Marion did not play in the NBA Finals. He did not top six minutes in the Cavaliers' playoff run. The 37 year old averaged career lows 4.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 19.3 minutes.

Kevin Love / Out / Jun 17 Comment: Love (shoulder) averaged 16.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in his first year as a Cavalier. His season ended in the first round of the playoffs as he tussled for a loose ball with the Celtics' Kelly Olynyk.

Kyrie Irving / Out / Jun 17 Comment: Irving (knee) averaged 21.7 points and 5.2 assists in a career-high 75 games in 2014-15. He was hobbled by injuries in the playoffs and finished the season with a fractured kneecap in the first game of the Finals.

  • Excellent expansion of your original commentary - +1, good answer, Rex. – user98990 Jun 18 '15 at 15:51

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