LeBron James’ black protective face mask was a hit Thursday night, with the Miami Heat star drawing more than a few Zorro, Batman and The Lone Ranger comparisons on social media.
But had the Heat worn their usual home whites for the game against the New York Knicks rather than their Alonzo Mourning-era black throwbacks, James’ dark-colored mask might have remained in his gym bag.
“It went with the uniform,” James said, via ESPN.com, when asked why he chose black over one of the more common clear masks. “I knew we were wearing throwback uniforms. I was able to get a carbon fiber one, which is actually lighter than the one I had been wearing in practice. It came through at the last minute, so I went with it.”
James’ teammates loved the look, with Heat center Chris Bosh saying James “played like Batman” (he even swiped the mask for his own personal photo shoot). It also helped that James played like the same old LeBron even with the added facial protection, pouring in a game-high 31 points as Miami routed the Knicks 108-82.