A look at Joel Embiid’s future mask-wearing brethren
If Joel Embiid is able to make a return this season from surgery on an orbital fracture of his left eye, he will likely be wearing a mask to protect the area. With that in mind, let's take a look back at past players who have worn masks to protect facial injuries.
(All photos from AP Images)
When you think of NBA players wearing masks, Richard "Rip" Hamilton probably first comes to mind. Hamilton broke his nose during the 2003-04 season and wore a mask for the rest of his career, which concluded in 2013.
After breaking his nose during the 2013-14 season, LeBron James broke out the coolest mask to ever to be worn during an NBA game with this black, carbon-fiber one. Unfortunately, he would only wear this for one game as the NBA requested that he wear the standard clear one.
Kobe Bryant also trotted out a black mask after breaking his nose in the 2012 All-Star Game. Similarly to LeBron's black mask, Kobe's black mask was only used during one game before he switched back to the clear one.
Russell Westbrook wore a mask during the 2014-15 season after having surgery on a fractured bone in his cheek.
An inadvertent elbow from C.J. McCollum in Game 3 of the first round of the 2015 playoffs fractured multiple bones in Mike Conley's face. Eight days after having surgery, Conley returned and led the Grizzlies to a Game 2 win over the Warriors.
Kyrie Irving suffered a minor facial fracture in the early stages of this season.
Bradley Beal wore a mask during the 2015-16 season after suffering a broken nose.
Derrick Rose wore this mask in 2015 after sustaining a fractured orbital in practice.
Is this your king?? While it wasn't during a game, Victor Oladipo wore a Black Panther mask during this past Dunk Contest. The dunk was scored a 40, but the mask was a perfect 50.
Can you imagine Embiid coming out for warmups before a playoff game in this mask?