When Warriors center Willie Cauley-Stein smiles on the court, he puts the gold in Golden State. His teeth shine with customized mouthguards that look like grills.
“I ain’t think it would look that good, but they looked real," Cauley-Stein described. "They fit real."
The grills are standard plastic mouthguards, embellished with extra bling created by a jeweler friend who makes specialized pieces for athletes. They’re molded in a tray, just like braces.
Cauley-Stein has been wearing a real grill since college. He keeps up the look at work with a collection of mouthguard grills in rose gold, white gold and crystal, with the crystal version marked with two X’s.
The two X’s are for a friend who passed away this summer.
“His name is Rexx, two X’s, so I’m carrying that on,” Cauley-Stein explained.
Cauley-Stein also has two X’s tattooed over his left eye. His skin is a canvas of tattoos that tell the story of his life. The gleam on his teeth gives him one more way to stand out.
“A lotta people are like, ‘This dude doesn’t care about hoops, he’s got a freakin’ grill in his mouth!’ But it’s a mouthpiece!” he exclaimed.