Players in the NBA wearing goggles are becoming less and less common these days. Players are opting to choose to wear contacts over goggles, thinking that it will help their performance. However, some of the greatest players to ever play the game have worn goggles, and it did not seem to have impacted them at all. Below are the top 5 guys in the NBA who have worn goggles, proving that you can wear this gear and still be successful.
1. Thurl Bailey
Bailey was a key component in the North Carolina State Wolfpack's miracle 1983 NCAA Championship run. That year he led the team in both scoring and rebounding, making him a threat on both sides of the court. A sharp and fast forward, he was the eventual 7th pick in the draft that year by the Jazz, where he went on to be a large part of their success in the late 80s.
2. Horace Grant
Next on our list is Grant, who was an exceptional power forward for all of the teams that he played for. Known mostly for his time with the Chicago Bulls, where he won 3 championships, Grant was known for his consistency and durability, and the workman like approach he took to each game. Not only did Grant wear goggles, he often changed the colors to match his uniform, showing he didn't mind being seen with them.
3. Kurt Rambis
If it wasn't for Rambis, Magic Johnson may not have become a household name. Because of his defensive play, and his ability to get rebounds, Rambis was able to send Johnson on those fast breaks he was so well known for. During his 14 seasons with the Lakers, he was always noticeable on the court, not just because of his tenacity, but because of his Buddy Holly-style glasses and his large mustache.
4. James Worthy
Although this name isn't as popular as others, he played along-side some of the greats of his time. After winning a college championship in North Carolina alongside Michael Jordan, he went on to play with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, where he won 3 titles. Worthy was practically unstoppable in 1-on-1 situations; perhaps because his goggles distracted his opponents? He was named the MVP of the 1988 NBA Finals.
5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Last, but certainly not least, we have one of the best players to ever be a part of the game – and certainly one of the best to do it while wearing goggles. To this day Abdul-Jabbar holds the NBA record for most points scored in a career. During his career he won a Rookie of the Year Award, 6 Championships, 6 MVP Awards, and appeared in 19 All-Star games.
Kareem was always seen wearing Goggles, ever since he had a cornea scratched during his college days. The goggles became synonymous with his look, and if he wasn't recognizable already by the way he was dominating on the court, the goggles certainly helped to identify him.
While sports goggles may not be that prominent in the NBA, they are still a recognizable part of some of the greatest players to ever step on the court. Some players may be self-conscious about wearing them, but these guys ignored all of that, and let their play do the talking for them.