Top 5 Players With Basketball Goggles in NBA History

Kurt Rambis / Photo: Getty Images

Basketball goggles are a big part of NBA history. Unlike, for example, football or hockey, basketball is a sport in which severe injuries still occur less frequently. Eye injuries definitely fall into that category, and in the rich history of the NBA, many players have resorted to the only possible solution to protect themselves from further injury – protective goggles. Here is our Top 5 list of most famous NBA basketball players who wore basketball goggles:

5. Horace Grant

An exceptional power forward for all the teams he played for, Grant was best known for his durable consistency, blue-collared approach to each and every game and – basketball goggles. Best known as a starter for Chicago Bulls team, which won three NBA titles from 1991-1993, Grant often changed the color of his goggle rims to match his team’s colors.

4. Thurl Bailey

Bailey led 1983 North Carolina State Wolfpack in scoring and rebounding and was one of the key players in their miracle NCAA Championship run. Often spectacular and always sharp small forward was the seventh overall pick by Jazz in the 1983 NBA Draft. He was important to the team’s success in the late 1980-ties. After his playing days were over he converted to a Mormon religion and resides in Utah.

3. Kurt Rambis

Kurt Rambis was a typical “blue-collar” forward whose defense and rebounding initiated many of the Magic Johnson’s spectacular fastbreak plays. He wore Buddy Holly-style basketball goggles along with a mustache. After signing with the Lakers in 1981, Rambis spent an unbelievable 14 seasons with the team and helped them win as much as four NBA titles during the 1980-ties.

2. James Worthy

After being a teammate of legendary Michael Jordan on North Carolina Tar Heel team that won NCAA title in 1982, lighting quick forward went on to share the floor with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, winning as much as three NBA titles. Often spectacular finisher on the fastbreak and unstoppable in 1-on-1 situations, Worthy was named MVP of 1988 NBA Finals.

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

As one of the greatest players of all time, Kareem holds the record for most points scored by an NBA player in a career with 38387.

Known as Lew Alcindor he became the dominant force in New York City high school basketball. He continued his stellar career in NCAA while playing for John Wooden’s UCLA and was drafted first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1969 NBA Draft.

Playing for Lakers and Bucks from 1969-1989 Jabbar collected a Rookie of the Year award, six NBA titles, six MVP awards and as much as19 NBA All-Star appearances. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wore basketball goggles for protection ever since having his cornea scratched in a NCAA game against University of California in January 1968.

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