Clippers forward Matt Barnes debuted his new-look goggles this weekend, putting on a pair to protect his eyes after recently undergoing three surgeries on his left eye. Although Barnes had a nice game in his debut on Saturday, finishing with 13 points, three assists and three rebounds before being ejected for his hard foul on Kevin Love in Sunday's win, he plans to ditch the spectacles as soon as he can. But why? Several NBA players have rocked the look over the years. Here are a few.
While playing for UCLA, Abdul-Jabbar suffered a scratched cornea in his left eye during a game against Elvin Hayes and the University of Houston in 1968. He put on goggles for protection and continued to wear them throughout his NBA career, becoming the first to don protective eyewear. They served him well. Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time scoring leader.
Like Abdul-Jabbar, his Lakers teammate, Worthy wore goggles as a way to protect his eyes. He helped make the look cool -- assuming you like the human fly look. Worthy played his entire 12-year career with the Lakers and amassed more than 16,000 points. His goggles remained an indelible part of his look.
Rambis began wearing glasses at the University of Santa Clara and took the look to the NBA. Technically, he wore horn-rimmed glasses, not goggles, but his Clark Kent look endeared him to Lakers fans for nine seasons. He’s now a Lakers assistant coach.
Stoudemire began wearing goggles in the 2008-09 season after sustaining a partially torn iris in training camp with the Phoenix Suns. He wore them for only a few games, however, and probably regretted it. In February 2009, a partially torn retina in the same eye forced him to undergo surgery and resume wearing goggles, which he still wears as a member of the New York Knicks.
Bailey helped lead North Carolina State to its improbable 1983 NCAA championship run, then enjoyed a nice career in the NBA, averaging 12.8 points in 10 seasons, most of them with the Utah Jazz. He donned goggles not because of an injury but as a protective measure, and they became an essential part of his look.
Talk about styling. The former Chicago Bulls forward sported goggles with colored rims, often changing them to match his team’s colors. Grant won three league titles with the Bulls and later played for the Lakers, Orlando Magic and the defunct Seattle SuperSonics, scoring almost 13,000 points.