Glasses-wearing Billie Jean King talks NBA

June, 21, 2012
6/21/12
12:00
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WadeDavid Dow/NBAE/Getty ImagesGlasses worn by Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade after Game 4 caused quite a stir this week.
LeBron James on teammate Dwyane Wade's glasses at the news conference after Game 4:

"It's getting out of control. Right here, this whole glasses thing is getting out of control right now. Look at this guy? 'In two years Dwayne Wayne became Dwyane Wade,' huh? ... Oh man."

James is one to talk. He, along with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, have been sporting off-beat glasses during the NBA playoffs.

At least one person loves it.

"It just reinforces who I am!" said tennis legend Billie Jean King, who has about 15 pairs, all different colors. "They think they are all stylin'. I think it's neat. It's like I'm a parent and they are following me!"

Billlie Jean KingTom Williams/Getty ImagesTennis legend Billie Jean King has about 15 pairs of glasses, including these bold red ones.
King started wearing glasses at the age of 13, way before she became one of the most dominating women in tennis. She went on to win more than 80 percent of her matches, including 12 Grand Slam singles titles and 16 Grand Slam doubles titles.

"People were telling me I couldn't be No. 1 because I was wearing glasses," said King, who was No. 1 for six different years. "I never thought about getting Lasik. I just love the fact that glasses can be accessories, baby."

King has glasses in purple, green, pink and a host of other colors to match her outfits.

"These red ones took a lot of guts, because they are so bright," King said. "I guess I should have gotten into the glasses business. I would have sold a ton!"

The subject of glasses was one of the subjects of conversation King had when she first met rock legend and glasses lover Elton John.

"I was invited to this party in 1973 by the promoter of the King-Bobby Riggs match. I don't like parties and I barely showed up. It was a party for Elton John," King said. "He's my favorite singer. 'Your Song?' Hello! We were too shy to say, 'Hi' until the very end of the night. The next time we were together in London, we stayed up until 5 in the morning talking."

And that led to John and writing partner Bernie Taupin to pen a song about King's World Tennis Team.

That song hit No. 1 in 1975: "Philadelphia Freedom."

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