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LeBron requested to switch to clear mask by NBA

MIAMI (AP) - LeBron James dispensed with his menacing black mask at the NBA's request and switched to a clear protective cover for the Miami Heat's game Saturday against the Orlando Magic.

The black mask made its debut Thursday in James' first game since he broke his nose. He said he received word from league officials Friday that they wanted him to instead wear something that would allow opponents to see his face.

"It's not a league rule, but it's the league's request that you don't wear the black one," James said before Saturday's game. "The reasons they told me didn't make sense to me, but I'm just a player. I will abide by the request."

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke Friday with Nick Arison, son of the team owner, about the matter. James said he didn't want to make a big issue of it.

"I'm good with the NBA," James said with a smile. "I am not against the NBA. I had a request, and I fulfilled it."

Teammate Dwyane Wade said he warned James the league would give the black mask a thumbs-down.

"I told him after Thursday's game, 'You have fun, because it ain't happening the next game,'" Wade said. "It was fun. A lot of attention, a lot of T-shirts are going to be made, a lot of Instagram posts. Now we move on to something else."

James agreed that the black mask was a marketing success, with feedback he received universally positive. He said he may give the mask to charity so it can be auctioned off.

"Everyone loved it," James said. "I got stuff, from 'You look very menacing,' to 'You look like a superhero,' to 'You look amazing.' A little bit of everything. No one told me it was terrible."

Not even league officials.

"I think they loved it as well," James said.

Join the discussion

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Hello, Enrique! March 02 2014 at 3:33 PM


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Joe March 02 2014 at 2:16 PM

Go figure. Everyone likes so they ban it. Only in the NBA.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
lesterelgy March 02 2014 at 1:52 PM

so, if everybody was ok with it, who was unhappy with it ??

Flag Reply +2 rate up
mag7898 March 02 2014 at 1:30 PM

Wow talk about micro-management ! Bet of the NBA officials could make their cut he would still be wearing it! What its like he is the Black Superman thank goodness he did not wear pink!

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Pat March 02 2014 at 1:24 PM

By the way, I thought it looked good with the black uniform.

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Ron March 02 2014 at 1:18 PM

Surprise!! LeBron is a super hero.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
flyingfortresb17 March 02 2014 at 1:14 PM

Let's see. He is black and the mask is black fiberglass. His eye-holes are large and they can see his eyes. The problem is they fell intimidated? Now is that intimidation due to his ability or the mask.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Ruston's Diner March 02 2014 at 1:04 PM

It did look great. But, you knew the league would want a clear one. Nice that LeBron changed it at leagues request without making a fuss about it. That shows a lot of character. Good job. And I'm a Knicks fan.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Dave March 02 2014 at 9:31 AM

What's the big deal with the mask? The clear ones are really ugly. The one Lebron's wearing actually looks nicer.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
gsdchablis March 02 2014 at 12:57 PM

As a retired US Army 1SG I have a great deal of respect for LaBron James . Everyone admires his talent. But for me it's his strength of CHARACTER. He is the MVP because he puts team first in basketball, and his family first in life. Moor popular individuals should follow his example.

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1 reply
beverlyamy1 gsdchablis March 02 2014 at 2:04 PM

you said it ,and thanks for your service.

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