LeBron James' black mask: What's up with that?

And how long will it last?

  • LeBron James sports a clear plastic mask during a Feb. 2, 2005 game.
LeBron James sports a clear plastic mask during a Feb. 2, 2005 game. (ESPN )
February 28, 2014|RedEye staff report

If you watched the Miami Heat battle the New York Knicks Thursday night, you probably saw the Heat's LeBron James sporting a Batman-like mask.

And then you probably immediately wondered, "What the???"

The mask, made of black-carbon fiber, is intended to protect James' nose, which he broke during a Feb. 20 game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to ESPN.

"[The mask] went with the uniform," James told ESPN. "I knew we were wearing throwback uniforms. I was able to get a carbon-fiber one, which is actually lighter than the one I had been wearing in practice. It came through at the last minute, so I went with it."

His broken nose forced him to miss the Heat's win against the Chicago Bulls Sunday night. But this isn't the first time James has sported a mask. He wore the clear plastic mask seen below in February of 2005.

LeBron James clear mask

James, himself, had fun with his new look, making reference to his Batman-like appearance on Twitter:

However the Bleacher Report's Ethan J. Skolnick tweeted today that James might go back to a clear plastic mask when the Heat plays the Orlando Magic tomorrow.

Continue reading about James' injury and his teammates' response to his mask at ESPN.com. Video of the mask in action is below:

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