It may seem unthinkable now, but back in the late 1990s the headband was rare. You had your Chris Gatlings or your Clifford Robinsons, but that was about it. However, at the turn of the century a courageous group of players broke through the vaunted headband barrier to bring personal expression to a whole new level. That group: the Portland TrailBlazers. Those players: Brian Grant, Rasheed Wallace, Bonzi Wells, Scottie Pippen, Greg Anthony.
The Blowtorch salutes those brave souls. In their honor, please consult the following guide whenever you decide to wear a headband.
Style: The Standard (formerly "the Cliff") is the most commonly seen headband style in today's NBA. Bisecting the player's forehead, the band is worn just above the ears and nestles under the protuberance on the back of the skull.
Currrent Practitioners: Rajon Rondo, Boobie Gibson, Brad Miller
Stule: The Wayback is worn high on the head, possibly to disguise the unfortunately high "fivehead" that a player might have. While the player may look normal while wearing the headband, once the band is removed their movie screen-esque forehead is prominently displayed.
Current Practitioners: LeBron James, Vince Carter
Style: While the Wayback is worn to disguise a grotesque physical anomaly, the Pierce is worn to combat a receding hairline. The Pierce is typically worn lower on the back part of the head in order to allow for coverage up front. Players who sport the Pierce generally appear slovenly.
Current Practitioners: Paul Pierce, Corey Maggette, Rasheed Wallace
Style: The Low-Rider is worn very low across the forehead, almost covering the eyebrows. It is assumed that this style originated from the wearing of low-slung fitted baseball caps.
Current Practitioners: Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Terry
THE JUST A BIT OFF
Style: The Just A Bit Off is worn pushed back on the head in an almost yarmulke-like fashion. This style is generally worn by the player who is goofy, dangerous, crazy, or insane, hence the name.
Current Practitioners: Steven Jackson (circa Brawl), Michael Beasley, Gerald Green
Style: In general, the Earmuff is worn by an older player who is out of touch with current style trends. Off the court, an Earmuff wearer can often be seen sporting hideous outfits that no sane human would be seen in. Of course, hipsters have co-opted this look.
Current Practitioners: Derek Fisher, Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire
THE GENIE Style: The Genie is a rarely seen headband style that takes both the Low-Rider and the Earmuff to the extreme. The band is worn low on the head, covering both the ears and the eyebrows. While this style is extremely rare, it has been captured by cameras on one occasion.
Current Practitioners: Julian Wright