Cleveland Cavaliers Lead The NBA In Players Wearing Masks

By Nick Claussen
Anthony Gruppuso – USA TODAY Sports

Usually, it’s the fans of losing teams who wear masks over their faces.

In the case of the Cleveland Cavaliers, though, it’s the players who are wearing masks now, as the team is up to a league-leading count of three players who are covering their faces during games.

Earlier in the season, big men Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller started wearing clear masks due to injuries they sustained. Then last week star guard Kyrie Irving played with a black mask on his face due to his injuries, and he had an outstanding game scoring 41 points against the New York Knicks.

Head Coach Byron Scott said on Monday, that while Irving told him during the Knicks  game that the mask was not comfortable, Scott told him that he should continue wearing it.

“Really, you’re going to wear it the rest of the year if you play like that,” Scott said he told Irving.

It’s not clear yet if three masks at one time is a record for an NBA team or not, but I am sure that some sports statistics agency out there has figures on this. It is very likely that Irving set an all-time record for points by a player wearing a black mask in New York.

Irving, Thompson and Zeller are all wearing the masks to protect them from further injuries, and it’s likely that they are not very comfortable.

If the team can somehow turn things around and start winning, though, the masks may look like a good thing for the three players and I bet they can even become a new fashion trend for basketball players everywhere.

A few years ago, NBA players started wearing arm sleeves during games for no apparent reason, and now kids all over the country are wearing them. I know that players say they wear them to keep their arms warm and because of the padding, but I tend to think that those reasons are stupid.

People just wear them because they saw a few NBA players wear them, and now they want to wear them too.

If Irving keeps playing great, and if Zeller and Thompson can be steady performers, soon Nike will be marketing masks with swoosh marks under the eyes, players will have all kinds of different colors on the masks and TNT will be putting promos for their shows on the masks.

And of course kids all across America will be wanting to wear masks, saying that they protect their faces and that they help them see better or something dumb like that.

Frankly, I’m surprised someone hasn’t thought of it already.

Of course, if the Cavaliers don’t start winning more game soon, the rest of the players and some of the fans may want to start wearing masks, or even paper bags, but not as part of any fashion statement.


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