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Joel Embiid, LeBron James and the Best Masks in NBA History – NBC Chicago

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

It’s the return of the mask.

Joel Embiid missed the primary two games of the Sixers’ second-round series against the Heat after suffering a concussion and right orbital fracture in a closeout win over the Raptors. With the series moving to Philadelphia and the Sixers facing a 2-0 series deficit, the MVP finalist is back on the ground sporting some familiar facewear:

The NBA’s history of players taking the court with masks dates back to the Fifties. In comparison with what Embiid is wearing, it’s been quite the evolution.

Here’s a visit back down memory lane with 10 of probably the most famous masked men in basketball:

Wilt Chamberlain

Chamberlain was one in every of the earliest stars to resort to a mask. The legendary center needed the headwear – which doesn’t look terrible, all things considered – after enduring a broken nose and a few lost teeth.

Curtis Perry

Perry is the entry from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” era of NBA masks. Following a facial fracture, the Suns big man took the ground with a mask that might have made more sense for an NHL goalie. 

Bill Laimbeer

Bill Laimbeer of the Detroit Pistons with the primary clear plastic face mask utilized in #NBA competition, developed by orthotist Jerry McHale. Once this style showed up in 1991, I knew it only as “The Laimbeer Mask” for the following few years. pic.twitter.com/VKNaVFL3A8

— NBA Cobwebs (@NBACobwebs) February 20, 2020

One in all the league’s most notorious villains sported a mask in 1990. Laimbeer was the primary player to make use of a transparent face mask in NBA history.

A.C. Green

The early stages of the clear mask still needed some remodeling. The NBA’s Iron Man had good reason for wearing the haunting mask, though – he lost two teeth after taking an elbow from J.R. Reid in 1996.

Richard Hamilton

16 years ago today, Rip Hamilton donned his trademark mask after breaking his nose for the second time.

Rip decided to rock it for the remaining of his profession. pic.twitter.com/gSPSh6Wy8G

— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) March 10, 2020

No basketball player is more synonymous with a mask than Rip Hamilton. The previous Piston wore a mask for the ultimate 10 seasons of his NBA profession after breaking his nose in the course of the 2003-04 season.

Tracy McGrady

Houston’s Tracy McGrady decided to wear a protective mask on January 27, 2006 against Minnesota after taking an elbow to the face from Jake Voskuhl in a 102-78 Rockets win over the Charlotte Bobcats two days earlier. pic.twitter.com/RSel9pt0Jb

— NBA Cobwebs (@NBACobwebs) February 28, 2020

T-Mac became T-Mask after taking an elbow to the nose while with the Rockets in 2006. While McGrady didn’t need the mask for long, it stays one in every of the claims to fame for Jake Voskuhl, whose elbow caused McGrady to wear a mask in the primary place.

Kobe Bryant

Speaking of nicknames, the “Masked Mamba” debuted in 2012 after Dwyane Wade gave Bryant a nasal fracture during that 12 months’s All-Star Game. Bryant averaged 31.1 points across an 11-game stretch while wearing clear and black masks.

Kyrie Irving

Irving scored a career-high 41 points while sporting a black mask against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 15, 2012. He also wore one in 2017 with the Celtics, though he clearly was not as keen on the clear version.

LeBron James

James needed 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 transparent mask on for a game against the Bobcats and proceeded to place up a career-high 61 points.

Russell Westbrook

Westbrook needed a mask after fracturing a cheek bone in the course of the 2014-15 season. The injury got here from Thunder teammate Andre Roberson’s knee. Like James and Irving, Westbrook also posted a career-high scoring total in a mask, dropping 49 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists in his first game back from the injury against the Sixers.

Joel Embiid

Embiid has a history of wearing masks against the Heat within the postseason. He made his playoff debut in 2018 while wearing a black mask in South Beach and brought it back out for Game 3 within the 2022 second round.

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