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LeBron James ditches mask in loss to Spurs

Mar 7, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

Is LeBron done with the mask, or is he just taking a break?

Midway through the first quarter of the Heat’s loss to the Spurs, LeBron took his mask off during a timeout. He’d missed his only shot, and Miami trailed by eight.

He didn’t exactly light the world on fire after that, shooting 6-for-18 in a 111-87 loss (though maybe the mask – or other accessories – hindered him in ways other than shooting).

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The mask is a preventative measure. It protects players who’ve already experienced nose injuries from having another while they’re more susceptible and when they’d be more affected. It’s also, surely, a pain to play with.

LeBron is hardly the first player to scrap a mask before he’s supposed to be done with it or even the first to do so mid-game. I’ve never seen someone pay for it with another hit to the nose, but if players keep pressing their luck…

Still, maybe that chance is worth the added comfort and playing better.

  1. bucrightoff - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    If only he had cut off his sleeves too he would have had a big time night…or maybe Kawhi Leonard is just a really good defender who gives LeBron fits.

    • reesesteel23 - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      I hope they battle for years to come. Best players in the world always have that 1 defender that give them fits more than most can.

    • aboogy123456 - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      Lebron is usually either too fast or too strong to be stopped by anybody in the league. The only guy I can think of that can match him in both aspects is Kawhi leonard. Lebron has never had to develop a post game or be especially creative on offense, but with Kawhi on him I think he needs to find other ways to score.

      • money2long - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        This is where Kobe’s footwork and shot creativity and pump fake deception comes into play which is what I was talking about the other day.

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        absolutely agree, Money. No disrespect to lebron but he just is such a physical beast that nobody can match him, but theoretically if someone can match that then he’s not skilled enough to consistently score, but kobe in his prime would always find a way.

  2. spursareold - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Apparently, he threw his jumper to the ground at the same time…

  3. reesesteel23 - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Him taking his mask off was worth an entire article?

    • money2long - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      Considering all the people who had masks prior to lebron yet didn’t get as much fanfare as him, then this should come as no surprise.

      • reesesteel23 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        Well….you can chalk that up to wearing a pretty sweet mask originally. But this is just…this is nothing

  4. azarkhan - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    With his defense (he had 5 steals last night) and rebounding, Zen Spur is key to how far the Spurs advance in the playoffs . And even though he had an off night shooting, I wish he would take more shots. He averages less than 10 shots a game. I think he should be averaging 15 at least.

  5. gmsingh123 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    My take? “Lebron ditches talent in loss to Spurs.”

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