For all the bits of flair that NBA players add to their on-court appearance -- imagine them as TGI Friday's servers, but with protective sleeves and compression shorts instead of vests adorned with buttons saying NO COMMENT or ASK ME ABOUT OUR MALIBU SHRIMP APPE-TEASERS -- none is a tougher look to pull off than the clear plastic protective mask.
It's a necessary piece of equipment for players intent on playing through facial injuries, but it also made even a handsome fellow like Kobe Bryant look like The Phantom Of The Staples Center. Mask-rocking icon Richard Hamilton did eventually make this most ambitious of on-court looks work for him, but it took years, and really had much more to do with fans getting used to him hitting jumpers while looking like a cornrowed Hannibal Lecter than it did with the mask enhancing Hamilton's appearance. There is a reason why players don't choose to wear these things.
Matt Bonner, for instance, did not choose to mask up. But a nasal fracture that could require offseason surgery makes it a must that the White Mamba mask up for the next four weeks. Let's check in with how that look is working out for him:
Masked Mamba pic.twitter.com/nUlUWkvSf5— Dan McCarney (@danmccarneysaen) January 22, 2014
So, some fairly strong serial killer vibes coming through, there. Again this is a difficult look to pull off, and Bonner is one of the funnier and more appealing humans in the NBA. So let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he really does just need to return some videotapes.