Why Basketball Players wear Mask


Whenever NBA players wear face masks, a question pops up in everybody’s mind that ‘Why do Basketball players wear face masks?’ In this article, we are going to answer your question and help you understand what’s the purpose of a basketball face mask is.

Basically, basketball players wear masks for their face protection. These plastic masks protect the previous nose or face injuries that are not completely healed yet. It also protects your unhealed bones from further damage.

This article will help you in understanding how these face masks level up your game without getting injured and what face protections are used by top NBA players. It will also help you to decide which face mask is best for you and why you need one while playing basketball.

Why do basketball players wear face masks?

Basketball players wear face masks not just to look cool but for more important reasons i.e. face protection. If you play basketball you can understand how difficult it is to protect your face from injuries. While playing basketball, most of the time ball hits your face and causes nose or other facial injuries. Similarly, body parts like the elbow, hands, fingers, or even faces of opponents and even your teammates can hit your face. These unwanted collisions may end up in severe facial injuries. Let’s find out the most common reasons why do NBA players wear face masks?

For Protection:

Those basketball players who use face masks for protection, truly believe in ‘Prevention is better than cure’ that’s good for a safer play. Face masks can also protect against minor facial injuries as well as major surgeries pretty well.

To play with face injuries:

Many players like Mike Conley wore the face mask to play with facial injuries. The face masks protect the face and nose from further injuries due to unavoidable elbow hits during the game. Basketball players wear these masks to protect previous cuts and scares from further infection.

Professional basketball players use the best outdoor basketball face masks to protect their faces from injuries while recovering. Such as broken jawbones, fractured cheek boards, fractured orbital bones, broken noses, and a few more. But the broken nose is most common among them all.

Where Did It All Start?

Back in the 80s, many basketball players encountered facial injuries.

Back then when a player had a facial injury, he was left with two options: relax on the bench or in the crowd till the match ends; another option was to wear a face mask- whether it fits or not.

For the enthusiast basketball players who planned to make an impact in every game, chilling in a crowd or on the bench is overwhelming.

The second option looked like an answer but it appeared to mess the injuries up more due to ‘‘one-size-fits-all-masks’’. This proves to be more complicated for facial injuries of those it didn’t fit.

With the passage of time, the masks evolved from one-size-fits-all to customized face masks. Now NBA players wear face masks not just to protect their faces from unwanted hits but also to make a strong impact on their opponents.

These days when we think of masked players some of the NBA players come to mind such as Kyrie, Kobe, Embiid, and LeBron. In the past, you may think of Wally Szczerbiak (2009), Andrew Bogut (2015), and Richard Hamilton (2002).

These are very few examples of those NBA players who wore the mask over decades. Some players wear these masks willingly just to boost their confidence during hustle situations.

Do Masks Impact The Performance Of Players?

I reckon that these face masks can either enhance or holdbacks the performance of players. With that being said, the performance of players is not entirely dependent on the mask but also on the mindset of the players.

Many players wear face masks and their game remained the same or decreased a bit due to the limitations of these gadgets such as discomfort and poor visibility. However, we have also seen those basketball players who push through the difficulties they face due to masks. This mindset helps them step up their game while wearing a face mask.

So the answer to your question ‘will these face masks affect players’ performance? is that it mostly depends on the mindset of the players.

What are The Benefits of Wearing Masks?

Wearing the basketball face mask has a lot of benefits such as it protects us from getting injuries and also protecting our existing injuries. It also inspires action plus makes us look terrifying towards opponents or cool towards the crowd. The effect of face masks on players’ games is partly dependent on the mask chosen by them and their mindset.

Famous Basketball Players That Wore Masks.

Kobe Bryant

When Kobe made it to the court with a face mask on, it sold out for over $50,000.

Tracy McGrady

In 2006, Tracy got elbowed in the face so he had no option than to go for the mask to heal fast.

Lebron James

LeBron James wore masks on many occasions to support his facial injuries. He also wore a black face mask rather than the transparent one to spice things up a bit. This also earned him the famous nickname “Dark Knight”

But NBA banned it due to the advantages LeBron got after wearing the black face mask.

Final Thoughts

If you got an injury on the court, getting the face mask is the ideal thing to do. Plus, you can put the mask on if you want to protect yourself from upcoming harm. These face masks can also help to accelerate your healing process.

Another benefit of wearing a face mask is that you may look cool to the crowd or your fans and terrifying towards opponents.