Joel Embiid, LeBron James and the best masks in NBA history – NBC10 Philadelphia

Joel Embiid, LeBron James and the best masks in NBA history originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

It’s the return of the mask.

Joel Embid missed the first two games of the sixes Second-round series against the heat after suffering a concussion and fractured right eye socket in a win against the Raptors. With the series moving to Philadelphia and the Sixers facing a 2-0 deficit, the MVP finalist is back on the ground and sporting some familiar facewear:

The NBA’s history of players taking to the court wearing masks dates back to the 1950s. It was quite an evolution compared to what Embiid wears.

Here’s a trip back in time with 10 of basketball’s most famous masked men:

Wilt Chamberlain

Chamberlain was one of the first stars to resort to a mask. The legendary center needed the headgear – which doesn’t look terrible all things considered – after suffering a broken nose and some lost teeth.

Curtis Perry

Perry is the entry into the NBA mask era “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. After breaking his face, the Suns big man took the floor wearing a mask that would have made more sense for an NHL goalie.

Bill Laimbeer

One of the league’s most notorious villains wore a mask in 1990. Laimbeer was the first player in NBA history to use a clear face mask.

AC Green

The early stages of the clear mask had yet to be rebuilt. However, the NBA’s Iron Man had a good reason for wearing the haunting mask – he lost two teeth after taking an elbow from JR Reid in 1996.

Richard Hamilton

No basketball player wears a mask more than Rip Hamilton. The former Piston wore a mask for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career after breaking his nose in the 2003-04 season.

Tracy McGrady

T-Mac became the T-Mask after banging his nose with the Rockets in 2006. While McGrady didn’t need the mask for long, it remains one of the celebrity claims for Jake Voskuhl, whose elbow McGrady carried a mask to in the first place.

Kobe Bryant

Speaking of nicknames, the “Masked Mamba” debuted in 2012 after Dwyane gave Wade Bryant a broken nose during that year’s All-Star Game. Bryant averaged 31.1 points over 11 games while wearing clear and black masks.

Kyrie Irving

Irving scored a career-high 41 points while wearing a black mask against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 15, 2012. He also wore one with the in 2017 Celtsalthough he clearly didn’t like the clear version that much.

Lebron James

James had to wear a mask during his second NBA season with the Cavs and brought out a black one with the Heat in 2014 after breaking his nose. He had a clear mask on for a game against the Bobcats and went on to post a career-high 61 points.

Russell Westbrook

Westbrook needed a mask after breaking his cheekbone in the 2014/15 season. The injury came from Thunder teammate Andre Roberson’s knee. Like James and Irving, Westbrook also posted a career best in a mask, dropping 49 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists in his first game back from injury against the Sixers.

Joel Embid

Embiid has always worn masks against the heat in the post-season. He made his 2018 playoff debut wearing a black mask in South Beach and brought it back for Game 3 in the 2022 second round.

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/sports/joel-embiid-lebron-james-and-the-best-masks-in-nba-history/3231243/ Joel Embiid, LeBron James and the best masks in NBA history – NBC10 Philadelphia

Sarah Y. Kim

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