Over the years, the NBA has come up with some strange and unique policies. Coming from the fantasy draft rule that essentially states if 5 or more players on a team die, the team can draft players from other teams to fill their roster, all the way to… upside down headbands? The NBA has done it all. In this article, I will highlight a few strange bans the NBA has placed on seemingly harmless accessories.
1. Upside Down Headbands
In 2010, NBA champion and former Boston Celtic Rajon Rondo decided to sport the NBA sanctioned sweat band. However, Rondo wanted to switch it up, and wear the headband upside down to differentiate himself from the other players on his team. Unfortunately for Rondo, he was warned by the NBA that he had to wear the headband with the NBA logo facing it’s proper way, or face punishments. Instead of following this warning, Rondo decided to lose the headband. It isn’t quite certain why the league demanded Rondo wear his headband properly, some suspect it was a marketing move to maintain a clear image of the NBA logo for cameras and television users. If you guys have any theories on why the NBA banned upside down headbands, leave them in the comments I will review and reply to them.
2. Compression Gear
Now before you go raging into the comments, let it be known that the ban on compression gear was short lived in the NBA. Today, it’s hard to see players not wearing the compression gear that the NBA provides, but it wasn’t always that way. At one point, the NBA placed a ban on compression gear because it was “an eyesore” to the game. The league wasn’t aware of the medical beneficiaries that the compression gear brought on. As soon as this ban was placed, there was a public outcry for the ban to be lifted. This was accepted and the ban was removed very shortly after it was placed.
3. Timberland Boots
Former NBA commissioner David Stern infamously went on a dress code “power trip”. Stern created many on-court bans, most were reasonable, like wearing a team uniform if you’re playing in an NBA game. Some of them, were slightly stranger. One of the bans included Timberland style boots. I’m not exactly sure why this was included, but Stern was firm when stating that players weren’t to be wearing these boots in game. Personally I would like to see this ban lifted, and Timberland’s could finally be the official shoe of the New York Knicks.
4. Lebron-Hate Propaganda
Lebron James famously took his talents to South Beach in 2010, Cavaliers fans had every reason to be angry. His return to Cleveland was greatly anticipated by many. One thing that was certain was that Cleveland fans wouldn’t greet him well. Before Lebron’s return on December 2nd 2012, the NBA executives were investigating “Anti-Lebron Merchandise like hats, t-shirts and signs”. It was discovered that many t-shirts were in circulation locally within the city of Cleveland with hateful statements directed at Lebron James. As a result of this discovery, the NBA warned fans not to wear these clothes to the game, and even placed extra security at the entrances to ensure nobody had any such clothing or hateful signs. The Miami Heat blew out the Cavs 118-90 with Lebron dropping 38 points!!!
5. The Black Mask
(First off all, the reason NBA players wear “maks” is to protect their faces after suffering an injury such as a broken nose or other facial injury.) Popularized by Lebron James, but originally worn by Kobe Bryant, the black mask was considered magical by many NBA fans. Kobe Bryant first wore the mask for only a half game before removing it due to discomfort, the reason he had to wear it is quite funny, Dwyane Wade actually broke Kobe’s nose fouling him in the 2012 ALL STAR GAME. Kyrie Irving wore it next, and dropped an astounding 41 points. Finally Lebron wore it last, after breaking his nose in a dunk attempt on Serge Ibaka. Lebron sat out the rest of the game and played the following game against the Knicks. Apparently he wore the black mask as opposed to the standard clear mask because the clear mask was not ready to be played with. Despite letting Kobe and Kyrie play in their black masks, Lebron dropped 31 against the Knicks and was not allowed to wear the mask again. The famous black mask has not been seen since.
Many players have attempted to express themselves through unique qualities. For some players, wearing logos is their way of expressing their identity. However in section H item 5 of the NBA rule book, there is a rule prohibiting non-NBA sponsored brands on any part of the player excluding shoes. This has conflicted with players a few times. Iman Shumpert attempted to shave the Adidas logo into the back of his hair after joining them on a new deal, however he was forced to shave it off, leaving a laughable triangle shaving behind Shumpert’s head. JR Smith also ran into some trouble with logos, after he was asked to remove a “Supreme” compression sleeve from his leg just last year. This sparked outrage among the NBA community and from Smith himself. In response to this, JR Smith actually tattooed a supreme shooting sleeve onto his leg. The NBA reached out to him yet again and told him he would have to cover it during games or face penalties.
Surprisingly, the NBA banned the use of headphones during warm up (as well in game). Many players in the 2000’s were beginning to use headphones like Beats and Apple Ear Buds to help them focus for their games. The NBA was not on board with this trend, and announced that players would no longer be allowed to wear headphones on the court. Despite this some players like Kevin Durant continue to wear headphones occasionally. I wonder if the league is going to ban Air Pods next.
Honorable mentions for some other banned items like the Jordan 1’s and those weird shoes that apparently make you jump higher.
So, in your guys’ opinion, which of these bans is the most ridiculous? Also I’d love to hear anyone’s opinion and/or explanation for any of these bans. Leave a comment down below!
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