August 03, 2010
Lost in all the hubbub of LeBron James(notes) deserting the Cleveland Cavaliers on national television and then never mentioning them again for the rest of his life is one simple but very important question.
No, not "will the Heat be able to make three ball-controlling stars work together?" No, not "are the Heat the best team in the Eastern Conference?" No, not "why does Chris Bosh's(notes) head look so much smaller than I remember?"
OK, so there are a lot of questions next season's Heat have raised, but the most important — by far — is "will LeBron James be able to wear a headband?" If you're anything like me or LeBron, you've been chomping on your fingernails waiting for the answer to this quandry. Thankfully, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman can shine a little light on the answer.
LeBron will be able to wear whatever he wants, perhaps even a fedora. Considering Eddie House(notes) also has been added, it probably is time for Riley to move past the '80s with his rule book. The Heat has had a sort of don't-ask, don't-tell approach with headbands in recent years, with Smush Parker(notes) finding it banned because it was deemed a "fashion statement," Jermaine O'Neal(notes) having his allowed due to "need" and Quentin Richardson(notes) opting to not even challenge the edict. The suspicion is that LeBron not only will keep his headband, but might even have Erik Spoelstra wear one, as well.
Phew, international crisis averted. For a while there I was worried that Pat Riley would uphold his ban on headbands (his "headbanned," if you will — zing!) and hamper both LeBron's style and his game. It's very hard to shoot a basketball with a forehead's worth of sweat in your eyes. Trust me.
(Also, let's pause for a quick laugh about Jermaine O'Neal "needing" to wear a headband because his gigantic forehead generates so much sweat that a thin terry cloth strip becomes a necessity. Commence laughing now ... and stop. Hammer time. Back to LeBron.)
Even though Winderman's guess isn't a definitive answer, LeBron will most definitely be headbanded next season. And really, it's for the best. Seeing LeBron without his headband is like seeing Gene Simmons with his makeup off in that both of those are very weird. Once LeBron is bandless, you realize how old he looks and just how far back his hairline has been pushed back since joining the NBA as a teenager. The headband does wonders for him, and I'm glad it'll be sticking around. As far as headbands go, the more the merrier, I say. But then again, I was a big fan of the 1999-2000 Portland Trail Blazers so I'm a bit biased.