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NBA gives iPod a technical foul

Headphones ain't in the dress code, basketball bigwigs say. There's a reason it's called a "uniform."

Vince Carter's iPod has been benched.

The National Basketball Association has notified the Toronto Raptors' shooting guard that using the iPod during pregame warm-ups violates the league's dress code.

"Everyone has to be the same," NBA spokesman Brian McIntyre told CNET News.com. "It's just the uniform guidelines."

Carter told The Globe and Mail, a Toronto newspaper, that the lack of tunes will hurt his pregame routine.

"I like to listen to music when I'm working out--doing all that," Carter said. "That was my chance to really kind of relax yet focus in. I focus in when I have music on."

Music is in Carter's blood. According to the his Web site, he plays the saxophone and was a drum major in his high-school band.

Thus far, most bans of the increasingly fashionable device have regarded security concerns, not dress codes.

In any case, the Canadian paper noted that Carter can ill afford to suffer a further blow to his stride--the all-star is averaging eight fewer points per game than he did last season.

John Lashway, vice president of communications for the Raptors, said the iPod ban applies only to the warm-up just prior to the game and that Carter could still listen to his iPod in practice or earlier on game days.

But Carter can't escape the ban by shifting to another type of music device, McIntyre warned.

"We're not focusing strictly on the iPod," McIntryre said. "It could be anybody."

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