There are two things you’ll commonly see players wearing in basketball. No, we’re not talking about trainers and vests. We’re not even talking about socks or tights. We’re talking about headbands and wristbands. These two accessories are some of the most iconic and memorable things you’ll see a player wear. While these pieces of kit are not required for the game, many players realize just how much they can improve their game with them. Let’s take a look at the history of basketball headbands and wristbands with some of the most iconic players.
Who Wears Basketball Headbands And Wristbands?
- Wilt Chamberlain – you may have heard of Wilt Chamberlain. He was one of the coolest guys in the sport all through the 60s, and he brought the headband back to the NBA. His headband was thick in the front, gradually getting slimmer as it reached the back. Although this accessory helped Wilt to perfect his game, it also made him look impossibly cool. It’s no wonder so many other players followed suit!
- Earl Watts – they called Earl Watts ‘slick’, because that’s exactly what he was. One of the only players out there who could get away with wearing a ‘cockeyed’ headband during the 1970’s. That’s right – he didn’t wear his in the traditional way. He preferred to wear it pulled further down over one side of his head. Very few players have been able to pull this off like him.
- Bill Walton – Walton wore a slightly different headband to the other players on the list. His was more of a bandana, tied tightly in the back. He had a unique look, and this headband topped it off. During the 80s, no one can quite figure out why the sport’s headband took a bit of a break in basketball.
- Cliff Robinson – during the 90s, it was kind of unusual to find a player in the NBA with a headband. Apart from Cliff Robinson, that is. His career spanned a total of 19 years, and he wore it for every single game. According to rumor, he never, ever took it off. We’re not sure how true this is, but he definitely loved his headband.
- Allen Iverson – this player was one of the coolest in the early 2000s, and brought the striped headband into fashion. Not only that, he was known for his cornrows. Many people went on to copy his look!
- Portland Trailblazers – now, basketball fans will know it’s unusual to spot every guy in a team of players wearing headbands. It’s even unusual to spot a handful of guys wearing headbands. But not the Portland Trailblazers. Causing controversy throughout their careers, they all wear their headbands simultaneously through the game.
- Stephen Jackson – Jackson has played for multiple teams over his career, but you’ll rarely see him without his trusty headband and wristbands.
- Gerald Wallace – this player’s nickname is ‘G-force’, so you can just imagine the type of player he is if you’ve never watched him on the court. Along with his headband, he sports a variety of different looks, including cornrows and the shaven head. He likes to mix things up.
- Paul Pierce – although a little older than other players on the list, this is a man who rocked his sport’s headband throughout his entire career. He found something that worked for his performance and stuck to it!
- Vince Carter – you’ve more than likely heard of this basketball superstar. He hasn’t always played with his headband. He was still a tremendous player early on in his career without a headband, but you can’t deny he got even better after he discovered it.
- LeBron James – LeBron is one of the biggest players in basketball today, with many celebrity fans praising him. Superstars such as Drake even mention him in their rap songs. Definitely one of the greatest players to ever wear a headband. Although he hasn’t always been consistent with it, he’s still a big player in the headband game.
- Derek Fisher – this player has always been consistent with his headband game, but with a little twist. Rather than wear his headband in the traditional way, he wears it over the top of his ears. Nobody is really sure whether there’s a good reason for this.
- Dirk Nowitzki – nobody really knows what made Dirk decide to wear his headband, as he was so inconsistent. It was rare to see him with it, but he was always on top form when donning one on the court.
- Carmelo Anthony – this player started out with cornrows and a headband, like many other players. Now with a shaven head, his headband hasn’t gone anywhere.
- Ben Wallace – a very talented player, who had a memorable look in the sport. One of the only players to wear his sport’s headband with an afro. He has definitely played a crucial part in the history of basketball headbands!
- Richard Hamilton – if you’re looking for people who made history in the headband game, Richard Hamilton is one of them. RIP, as he is affectionately known, also wore his headband with a faceguard. This looks a little intimidating, but it helps to avoid sustaining face injuries while on the court. A couple of players have tried this look out after getting facial injuries since he came up with the look.
- Jason Kidd – this player was one of the most glamorous in the early 2000s, and an obvious fan of Earl Watts. He began to wear his in the same ‘cockeyed’ way. Although perhaps not as ‘slick’ as Watts, he just about managed to pull this unique look off.
- Jason Terry – if you know Jason Terry, you’ll know him for his knee high socks and sport’s headband. He has worn this accessory combo since he started playing, keeping it up for more than 15 years.
Many basketball players know how important sports headbands and wristbands are for perfecting their game. If you’re a basketball enthusiast, whatever level you’re at, make sure you follow suit. You’ll follow in the footsteps of many basketball icons and improve your game!