Why Do NBA Players Wear A Ton Of Accessories?

If you know anything about the NBA, you must be aware that all  NBA players are paid very handsomely and over the years we have seen NBA stars wear all sorts of accessories, sometimes to make a statement and sometimes just to look cool. However, the NBA didn’t like some of these accessories, so a dress-code specifying what the players are and aren’t allowed to wear on the court was put in place.

We still see players wearing different accessories on the court, however, some fans have a hard time understanding why those accessories are even necessary; why do NBA players wear a ton of accessories.

All the accessories that they wear are in accordance with the NBA dress code. Each accessory has a different purpose, some are to keep the body warm while others are to minimize the chances of getting an injury or protect a pre-existing injury. For example, players often wear masks when they have a face injury to make sure that it doesn’t get worse. Similarly, different accessories serve different purposes.

Every sport has a different dress code that distinguishes it from other games. Here are some accessories that NBA players are often seen wearing

Tights or Leg Sleeves

Why NBA players wear tights during a game?

You may have noticed that some professional NBA players wear tights or leg sleeves under-shorts. Basketball involves a lot of running, which can result in cramps and injuries, tights help support the muscles and bones and preclude the possibility of calf, thigh, or groin injuries.

The main reason why NBA players wear tights is that it keeps the injured muscles warm, which provides relief in pain.

They also prevent new injuries because a heated muscle is more resistant than a normal one. Older players need to wear them more often as they have higher chances of getting injured.

Tights are a great option for those who run more often as they protect ligaments and joints, so the player has a higher capability to work under high force and pressure.

According to the NBA, regulation players have to wear tights under their shorts.

However, there is a difference between tights and leg sleeves.

Tights cover the whole legs, whereas a leg sleeve covers a certain area.

The only time the leg sleeves are visible is when a player wears them on their calf or knee, if they wear it on their thigh it hides under the shorts and is not visible.

Arm Sleeves

7 Reasons Why NBA Players Wear Sleeves While Playing

Arm sleeves have almost the same purpose as leg sleeves. They serve to warm the muscles of arms and make them more resistant against an injury.

Some players wear them on both hands, whereas others wear them as needed. It depends on the needs of a player, if they have had a recent arm injury, then they are likely to wear a sleeve on that arm when they come to the game.

You might have seen players wearing a sleeve on the non-shooting hand, which is most likely due to a recent injury, to keep that arm warm and to alleviate the pain.

Some players have very serious injuries which may even require surgeries, though arm sleeves cannot prevent such injuries, they can still minimize the likelihood of such an injury happening in the first place.

Some players wear a sleeve on the shooting arm to improve their abilities as a warm muscle performs better than a cold one. Some players prefer wearing sleeves on both arms whether they have an injury or not because both hands are necessary and should move flawlessly to get the perfect result.


Why do NBA players Wear Mask?

The primary purpose of wearing a mask while playing basketball is to protect the face when a player has an injury. You will never see a player wear a mask without any reason because they are very uncomfortable and players don’t enjoy wearing them at all.

However, if a player has a face injury, their doctors don’t let them play unless they wear a plastic or fiber mask to protect the injury.

Over the years many famous players like Lebron James, Chris Paul, and Richard Hamilton have played with masks to protect a face injury.

All of them later reported that playing with a mask on is very uncomfortable, it keeps gathering moisture and gets way too hot during the game.

Long Sleeves on the Bench During Game

NBA players wear long sleeves when they are on the bench during the game so that they are ready to jump into the game whenever their team needs them.

Sitting outside for half an hour can cool down the muscles, so to keep muscles warm they wear long sleeves.

If they jump on the court with a cooled-down body, they will need time to warm-up and get used to the pace of things, but there is no time to warm up in crunch games. Players need to be ready to go at all times.

Plus, it can also increase the risk of a potential injury that can result in ruling the player out of that game, or in the worst-case scenario from the tournament. Also, some players may have had injuries in the past, so they want to keep their muscles warm which is why they wear long sleeves even when they aren’t on the court.


NBA players are not allowed to wear hoodies during a game.

Given that there is no valid reason for a player to wear a hoodie inside the arena according to the NBA regulation players are not allowed to wear hoodies during a game.

However, you will see some players wearing hoodies when they are on the bench.

This again is a way to keep their body warm and make sure that they are ready to go whenever the team needs them. However players need to make sure that they remove their hoodies before stepping on the court, otherwise, the referee will have to ask them to remove the hoodie, which might result in a fine.

Knee braces

Players wear knee braces to stabilize the knee, prevent common basketball injuries, and soothe a pre-existing injury.

Much like a leg or arm sleeve, a knee brace keeps the knee warm and alleviates the pain in case the player already has a knee injury. Plus a knee brace also absorbs the blow if a player falls on their knee; preventing a multitude of injuries.

A knee brace doesn’t look much different from a leg sleeve. The only difference is that it has some cushioning at the knee area to provide extra stability and comfort.

Tape on Fingers

Athletic tape works in the same way as a sleeve. It helps in healing old injuries and aids to decrease pain as well and prevent new injuries from happening.

Basketball requires a lot of practice and players practice for hours and hours, so their fingers are involved in tough exercise all the time.

This is why fingers need to be protected using athletic tape to decrease the chances of getting an injury.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why do NBA players use double socks?

NBA players wear new shoes almost every game, even though they are custom made according to players’ needs and there is no need to break into these shoes, players wear two pairs of socks to get extra cushioning between the heel and the shoe to prevent blisters. However, this is more of a psychological thing, because the whole reason behind wearing custom shoes is that they perfectly fit the player and there is no risk of blisters or irritation.

  1. What socks do NBA players use?

There is no specific regulation about the kind of socks a player can wear in the NBA. It really depends on the company that is sponsoring a specific player. You would see most of the players wearing Nike socks, however, many players, including famous names like Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley, wear Puma socks because Puma is their sponsor.

What we gathered…

Everyone enjoys watching their favorite NBA stars running and jumping up and down the court, but players need to be careful while playing because the slightest mistake can lead to serious injury. That’s why they wear a ton of accessories.

Players wear tights, leg sleeves, and arm sleeves to keep their arms and legs safe from injuries. These accessories keep the arms and legs warm, which relaxes the muscles, decreases the pain, and makes muscles more resistant to injuries.

Basketball players use a mask to protect their face when they have a face injury. Even though most players hate wearing these masks, their doctors don’t clear them to play unless they agree to wear the mask. That’s why we sometimes see players play with those weird-looking plastic face masks.

Players also use Finger tape to protect their fingers from injuries while playing a match or during practice. All these accessories help preclude a lot of common basketball injuries and help make life a lot easier for NBA stars.