The news that the NBA asked LeBron James to wear a clear mask to protect his face, rather than a black “superhero” mask, didn’t surprise me.
I’ve seen something like this before, with Karl Malone.
His shoes were deemed unacceptable.
Malone had a shoe contract with L.A. Gear in 1993. He began wearing shoes with flashing lights in the heels. Almost immediately the NBA was on the scent, telling the Mailman to cease and desist, becuase it was “a distraction.”
Though I haven’t seen it directly noted, I’m pretty sure that’s what the league decided with James. It may seem petty, but when the gadgets and gizmos start getting flashy, who knows where it will end? Before long, somebody would show up wearing a lava lamp or spinning fireworks on his head.
So the league put a stop to it. James played with a clear mask on Sunday.
It made no sense to James, just as the decision made no sense to Malone in 1993.
I love LBJ’s mask, hated to see it go.
But I’m sure the league figured a mask with flashing lights was just around the corner.