SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Richard Hamilton

On Thursday, LeBron James will be sporting more on his head than his usual headband. Because of the broken nose he suffered against the Oklahoma City Thunder, James will wear a protective face mask against the New York Knicks. Of course, this won't be the first time he has played in such a thing. He also donned one in 2005 when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also is far from the only NBA All-Star to wear a mask. Over the years, numerous big names have put these on their heads in games. We picked out 10 from the 1990s until now. Who wears it best?

Rank' Em: NBA's Masked Men

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Worn: 2012

Richard Hamilton

Richard Hamilton

Worn: Most of career

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Worn: 2012

Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Worn: 2004

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

Worn: 2013

LeBron James

LeBron James

Worn: 2005

Andrei Kirilenko

Andrei Kirilenko

Worn: 2005

Bill Laimbeer

Bill Laimbeer

Worn: 1990-92

Alonzo Mourning

Alonzo Mourning

Worn: 1998

Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman

Worn: 1994

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Carmelo Anthony's name has been attached to more teams this season than we can count -- we even heard a brief rumor that he'd be the next striker for Manchester United (note: rumor may or may not be total lie). Now, it seems like there's a final destination for the iconic Denver forward -- the New Jersey Nets. Everything is in place for the massive 15-player trade, which also involves the Detroit Pistons. Everything, that is, except Anthony's approval.

The Nets don't want to trade for Anthony if he bolts at the end of the season -- their plan may be to build around Anthony, potentially adding Chris Paul once he becomes a free agent as well. Anthony's preference is supposedly to be traded to the New York Knicks, but will visions of Paul feeding him assist after assist sway his opinion at all?

Cameron (Galesburg, IL)

If the Nets can pull off the Melo deal and get Anthony, Billups, and Hamilton do you see any chance of them getting the 8th seed?

Chad Ford
Chad Ford

Yes, because of the weakness of the rest of the East. Top 5 in the East are pretty strong, and the Knicks look like a lock for the 6th seed. After that it's wide open and the Nets would be in that mix. But do you go through all of this trouble for a quick first round exit? Will it get much better in 2011-12? Heat, Magic, Bulls, Celtics and possibly Hawks and Knicks look like better teams. In summer of 2012 ... Nets won't have a ton of space because of Brook Lopez's cap hold ... so how, exactly do they land Chris Paul. In other words, Melo will add excitement, but I don't see him delivering a title to the Nets. Full transcript

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3. Would the Nets be a respectable team with Carmelo Anthony?

You know a blockbuster trade is in the works when we're discussing a team that's 10-27 and the words "future draft pick" aren't involved. The New Jersey Nets could be the architects of such a trade, as the team is seeking to add Carmelo Anthony, Rip Hamilton, and Chauncey Billups in a move that could see 15 players changing their uniforms. Is this a good potential trade for New Jersey?

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Last week, Chad Ford had to interrupt his SportsNation chat to break the news of the Spurs acquiring Richard Jefferson from the Bucks. This week he was in chat when he got word the Pistons had fired Michael Curry.

Clearly, we need to book Ford every day to get through the doldrums of July.

Aaron (Richmond, VA)

Wow. About the Pistons firing Curry. Wow. Who do you think they should target as a coach and as free agents with their available cash?

Chad Ford
Chad Ford

I think Curry had a tough time making the transition to player and confidant to head coach. I especially think he had a difficult relationship with Richard Hamilton after benching Hamilton in favor of Allen Iverson.I can tell you the Pistons are going to go with someone with more head coaching experience ... but I don't know who it will be.

Mike (Detroit)

For all the good work Dumars did in putting the Pistons team together, he sure has crumbled it (starting with the infamous Darko pick). Where do they go from here? Overhaul entire team?

Chad Ford
Chad Ford

I'm not sure crumbled is the right word. Teams don't last forever and they had a fantastic run ... longer than most teams have had. But they are clearly rebuilding now ... and apparently the Pistons felt like Curry wasn't a great fit. Full transcript.

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