A NUMBER of NBA stars have worn masks for part of their careers, adding interest to the field.
However, some fans might be wondering why they’re opting for the headgear – here’s everything we know.
Why do NBA players wear masks?
A mask is an uncommon sight on an NBA court, but certainly not uncommon.
Top stars from different eras of the league have worn them over the years.
Masks are not usually a fashion choice, but are primarily worn by players who have sustained some sort of facial injury.
It’s not uncommon to get punched in the face while fighting for rebounds or jumping around the basket.
The mask helps avoid minor hits that aggravate an existing injury and force players to miss more time.
In games where every point counts, it can be devastating for a team to be left without its top stars.
Everything from broken noses to cracked cheekbones has been the reason why stars wear a range of face shields.
Which NBA players have worn masks?
The leading example of mask-wearing in 2023 came from Boston Celtics shooting guard Jaylen Brown, who debuted a sleek black number in the All-Star Game.
Brown came back after suffering a fractured face a few weeks earlier when he collided with teammate Jayson Tatum.
Historically, however, stars from Kobe Bryant to LeBron James to Wilt Chamberlain have been among those who have worn masks in games.
Kobe played part of the 2012 season with a broken nose, while LeBron had a similar problem in 2014.
Chamberlain was one of the first to wear a mask, again after a broken nose, and debuted one in the 1964–65 season, although slightly less elegant than his successors.
Speaking of which, perhaps the most unusual mask worn on the court was when Curtis Perry decided not to go the custom route and simply donned a full-face hockey mask for a game in the 1975-76 season.
It didn’t seem to affect him too much, however, as he had 17 points, 13 rebounds and four assists as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Houston Rockets 124-115.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7733172/why-nba-players-wear-masks/ Why do NBA players wear masks?