NBA stars are not just sports legends — they’re fashion icons in their own right, too. Apart from their trendsetting sneakers and collective jerseys, there are a couple of NBA legends who wore accessories that made them truly stand out.
Some of these are pretty dope, while others are just plain awful, but everybody is willing to look away because of how iconic they are.
So whether you’re trying to draw fashion inspiration from your favorite NBA stars or you’re trying to look like them for your next Halloween costume, here are some of the most iconic accessories ever sported by NBA legends.
Dennis Rodman: Hair
Hair is technically not an accessory, but you try telling Dennis Rodman that. The guy does wear piercings, shades, and crazy outfits off-court, but he had to tame all that down when playing. So his best and most iconic accessory is his entire head. He colored and styled it every chance he got, and he may have looked unstable every now and then, but one thing’s for sure — Rodman wouldn’t be Rodman without the funky hair.
Dee Brown: Reebok Pump
Reeboks have never been the shoe of choice for most NBA big guns, but Dee Brown decided to start a trend back in 1991 when he rocked the Reebok Pump. It was the pair he sported when he demolished all other contenders with his no-look dunk, so there’s no channeling Brown without the RPs.
Wilt Chamberlain/LeBron James: Headband
Wilt Chamberlain was one of the first NBA players who wore a headband — and a bright yellow one at that — but arguably the most iconic headband-wearer in the league is none other than LeBron James. One time, during the 2013 finals, his headband slipped right off, and fans were shocked to see Bron’s entire head…possibly for the first time.
So if you’re trying to look like the legendary LBJ for next year’s Halloween, go for a LeBron-inspired quality headband instead.
Ben Wallace: Headbands, but on his arms
There’s something jarring about Ben Wallace wearing headbands not on his head, but around his arms, but when you’re an absolute defensive beast, you can practically get away with breaking all rules of fashion anytime you want, and it’s considered iconic, not gaudy.
Richard Hamilton: Protective Mask
Pip is neither the first nor the most recent person to sport a mask in the NBA, but the way he wore his shiny, clear mask will forever be remembered. The reason he started wearing one is as legendary as the mask itself, too. Richard broke his nose three times back in the 2003-2004 season. Unfortunate as it may seem, this was the same year the Pistons went all the way and emerged as champions. Since then, Hamilton kept the mask on, saying it was like his very own Superman cape.
Brandon Williams: Batman Mask
Pip has his Superman cape, Brandon has his Batman mask. Wear this for an NBA dress-up convention and everyone will know who you are, stat.
Allen Iverson: Armband
Like Hamilton, Iverson’s iconic accessory started out as a necessary part of his attire, having injured his elbow midseason. But other players must have spotted it and thought, hey, that looks cool. Iverson made the armband even cooler when he wore one that featured a patch dedicated to the victims of a school shooting in his home state of Virginia.
Patrick Ewing: Knee Pads
Ewing’s gigantic knee pads must be a testament to his larger-than-life legacy in the NBA, where he is constantly on the brink of winning a ring with the Knicks, without actually touching the coveted title.
Still, if you ever want to come dressed up as this specific Hall of Famer, you can’t ever forget the kneepads.
That’s it for our list of 8 iconic accessories worn by legends in the NBA, along with the delightful stories of how they came to be.