Appreciating Joel Embiid and the NBA’s Notable Masked Men

With larger-than-life physical dimensions and on-court personas that take on lives of their own, NBA players seem to live a life that’s superhero adjacent.

But nothing blurs the lines between Commissioner Adam Silver’s world and comics legend Stan Lee’s more than a mask.

Whether denoting hero or villain status, the cranial accessory typically signifies the importance of a character. If there’s a masked man in sight, it’s worth taking note.

That’s as true on the NBA hardwood as it is in comics. Just ask Joel Embiid, who’s rocking a mask while recovering from an orbital bone fracture, ringing the pregame bell as the Phantom of the Process and sparking nfl jerseys wholesale the first Philadelphia 76ers playoff run this side of their tank job.

So, it’s in the spirit of Philly’s cloaked centerpiece that we celebrate the Association’s masked men (as well as a few who made other eyewear a staple of their time on the court).

Hard All-Star Game fouls actually exist. Just ask Kobe Bryant.

During the 2012 version of the world’s greatest pickup game, Bryant suffered a nasal fracture on a hard foul by Dwyane Wade. Bryant’s then-teammates were baffled by the play, with Andrew Bynum calling it “crazy” and Pau Gasol labeling it “out of place,” per ESPN.

Bryant let his play do the talking. nfl jerseys china One of his first post-All-Star contests came against Wade and the Miami Heat. Bryant not only handed the Heat their first losing streak in nearly two months, he dominated Wade in their head-to-head matchup. Bryant went for 33 points on 14-of-23 shooting, while Wade finished with more shots (17) than points (16).

The Mamba was masked for 11 games—wearing both clear and black versions—and averaged 31.1 points over that stretch. He auctioned off one of the masks that May and raised more than $67,000 for his foundation.

It’s no small miracle Rudy Tomjanovich kept his career going after nfl wholesale jerseys withstanding a nearly fatal punch from Kermit Washington in a December 1977 game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.

“Tomjanovich, who crumpled to the floor, almost died that night of injuries that were akin to being thrown from a car going 50 miles per hour,” per ABC News. “His skull was dislocated and spinal fluid was leaking from his brain. He recalled being able to taste the fluid in his mouth.”

Who knows how Tomjanovich ever made it nfl jerseys from china back between the lines. He actually played three more seasons and averaged 19 points and 35.7 minutes his first campaign back. That seems impossible looking back on his protection, which looks like a couple of strips of Nerf foam strapped together.official nfl jerseys cheap