Glasses in Basketball and Your Play on the Court

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In many sports, including basketball, wearing glasses is not necessarily a handicap but it can be very annoying. For me personally, I could not wear a helmet and glass when I played hockey.

The wrap around glasses trick did not work as well, so I forced myself to get used to shoving fingers in my eyes and wear contacts. They are definitely easier to deal with rather than having something that loosely sits on your face. It is just one less thing to worry about while playing.

Players in sports such as golf wear glasses when they play or in other non-contact sports, but in professional sports I have never seen a professional athlete wear glasses that look like what you would wear when reading. That being all said, lets go over somethings about wear corrective lenses and playing the sport of basketball.

Can I play basketball with poor eyesight?

It depends on how bad your eyesight actually is, if you are legally blind, I would think it might be pretty hard to play a sport with so much going on in it like basketball. I am not saying that it is impossible, I just don’t see how it is possible; no pun intended.

Horace Grant played, and he was legally blind. Both of my eyes are shaped like kidneys and with corrective lenses I was able to play hockey for 10 years and get beat up in my fair share of pickup basketball off the ice. Eye care and corrective lenses have come so far in such a little time, I would not let it stop you at all.

Glasses tend to fit lose on the face, so wrap around prescription goggles are probably the way to go if you play basketball competitively. Don’t let anything stop you from being able to achieve your goals.

Poor eyesight might make up for a lack of hand coordination, but sometimes speed cannot be taught. With my poor eyesight I was unable to track moving objects very well, but once I got my glasses, I was totally fine in judging the speed of anything coming at me. Poor eyesight is no excuses for not being able to play basketball.

Can you play basketball with glasses on?

Absolutely you can! It is up to you how you approach that challenge though. There is not a rule saying you cannot wear regular glasses on the court, but a few safety concerns come to mind. While not being a contact sport in the sense football is, basketball is still indeed a contact sport.

You will get bumped, you will get pushed, elbows and hands do come in contact with the face. Glasses are made of, well glass. You have to try very hard but that glass and will shatter. If they stay on your face, the glass can come into your eyes. Worse case scenario they could fall of your face on to the court, break, and that could cause a number of other massive problems.

Speaking as someone who wears glasses, I feel like I can have a strong opinion on this. Glasses are SUPER expensive for almost no reason. Not just the frames, but the glass part as well. If you want to lose a couple hundred dollars in glasses playing basketball that’s on you.

I don’t make LeBron money, so I am either playing partially blind or getting contacts. There is no rule about having glasses on the court, so it is up to you if you want to take the financial risk.

Why do NBA players wear glasses and are there any who play currently?

The answer as to why a basketball player wears glasses is very simple, to be able to see the freaking ball! NBA players do wear glasses, there is no human being immune to having eye problems at any point of there life. While I type this, I am wearing prescription glasses that probably would fly right off my face if I tried jumping around playing basketball.

It was funny to make fun of the kid wearing glasses growing up, I guess, but when an NBA player is out there making my salary in a week, I don’t see anyone laughing. Vision problems are not the only reasons why players wear glasses or goggles. Some players will buy prescription goggles or special glasses, improving your vision in basketball via glasses may be one of the best decisions you can make.

Some basketball players will also wear glasses or goggles to protect their eyes after an injury, similar to Anthony Davis a few years back. It is not as common in the NBA for players to openly wear glasses as contacts became such an easy thing to use in recent years. It is not uncommon to see a pro athlete wear glasses or goggles during practices but not during a game.

Famous NBA players who wore glasses

The Lakers are actually the team that had the most famous players wearing goggles or glasses while playing. Kurtis Rambis is probably one of the most famous players to ever wear glasses on the court, in my opinion. His now nerd glasses were absolutely legendary, making him look like a Poindexter on the court, mad respect for a man who can confidently wear glasses like that.

It was super impressive he kept those bad boys on when he took that clothesline in the 1984 Finals. He was called “Superman” because of the similarity of his glasses to Clark Kent’s.

Horace Grant was another spectacle wearing NBA player, he did not wear glasses like Rambis, he wore wrap around goggles, that way there was no shot of them falling off. Grant started wearing them in 1991 and needed to wear them since he was apparently legally blind.

Even without glasses he was an ACC Player of the Year during his time at Clemson. Even after getting LASIK surgery, he kept the glasses on. Letting people like me growing up think that wearing glasses wasn’t lame, but actually really cool!

The most famous player of all time to wear glasses had to be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. After getting a fingernail in his eye during a 1975 preseason game, Kareem wore goggles for most of the rest of his career. Eventually he began to develop cornel erosion and his eyes would get extremely dry, causing him extreme pain.

Reggie Jackson has also worn glasses from time to time on the court. He wears Rec Spec glasses; the same brand Abdul-Jabbar would wear. The glasses provided him with confidence and protection when facing off against larger defensive players.

Conclusion

Wearing glasses or goggles on the court is totally fine to do, and if you need them to see you should absolutely wear them. There is some risk to wearing actual glasses on the court in my opinion, but like any risk it is totally up to you.

Some of the best players to play the game wore glasses and it helped them and their careers immensely. Don’t let something as silly as goggles stop you from playing one of the greatest games on Earth.


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