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Russell WestbrookDennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY SportsRussell Westbrook is averaging 27.4 points, 8.3 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game this season.

Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook has been on a tear this season. Even after he fractured his cheekbone after taking an inadvertent knee to the face, Westbrook returned to the court a few days later unfazed -- and with some new face gear.

It got us thinking about other notable NBA players who have worn masks at some point in their careers:

LeBron James

In 2014, LeBron's black carbon-fiber mask was a hit among fans, but the NBA requested he wear a clear mask to protect his then-broken nose. Even so, LeBron managed to be LeBron, scoring 31 points on 13-of-19 shooting in a game Feb. 27 against the New York Knicks. 

LeBron JamesMarc Serota/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant

Mask or no mask, Kobe is going to score. But with the mask, he put up 38 points and eight rebounds in a game against the Sacramento Kings on March 2, 2012.

Kobe Bryant David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images

Chris Paul

After being elbowed in the nose by San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green in a game on March 9, 2012, Paul wore a mask for several weeks to protect his face.

Chris PaulNoah Graham/Getty Image

Richard Hamilton

Hamilton made the mask a thing of his own. Despite breaking his nose during the 2003-2004 NBA season, Hamilton led the Detroit Pistons' championship team in scoring with 17.6 points per game. Hamilton went on to wear the mask the rest of his career.

Richard HamiltonAndrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving

After his jaw was broken, the mask affected Irving in a good way. The Cavaliers' point guard had what was at the time a career-high 41 points, plus five rebounds and five assists against the Knicks on Dec. 15, 2012.

Kyrie IrvingDavid Liam Kyle/Getty Images

Tracy McGrady

McGrady needed to wear a protective mask in 2006 when he played for the Houston Rockets after taking an accidental elbow to the nose from former NBA player Jake Voskuhl.

Tracy McGradyAP Photo/David J. Phillip

Alonzo Mourning

Although it was for a short amount of time, Mourning wore a mask in 1998 to protect his fractured cheekbone.

Alonzo MourningRhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images

Bill Laimbeer

It is fitting that Laimbeer, one of the more physical players in the history of the NBA, needed to wear a mask during his career.

Bill Laimbeer Getty Images

Jason Terry

When Jason Terry was a member of the Dallas Mavericks, he had to hop on the runway wearing a protective mask for a stretch of games during the 2009-2010 season.

Jason TerryGlenn James/Getty Images

Joe Johnson

As a member of the Phoenix Suns, Johnson suffered an orbital fracture during a second-round playoff game against the Mavericks. He missed the rest of that series, but returned in Game 3 of the 2005 Western Conference finals against the eventual NBA champion Spurs.

Joe JohnsonRonald Martinez/Getty Images

Antonio McDyess

The Pistons had two masked men in 2008 when McDyess joined Hamilton as a result of a broken nose.

Antonio McDyessD. Lippitt/Getty Images

Kenyon Martin

When Martin was playing at an All-Star level in 2002, the forward broke his nose during a game against the Miami Heat, forcing him to protect his face.

Kenyon MartinHenny Ray Abrams/AFP/Getty Images

Andrew Bogut

After former Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson's hand hit Bogut in the face during a game in 2005, Bogut rocked the protective mask for a stretch of games as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Andrew Bogut Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Wally Szczerbiak

Broken noses are a theme with protective masks. Szczerbiak wore his mask because of one during a 2009 game against the Knicks.

Wally SzczerbiakJoe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

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After missing a pair of free throws late in the Cavaliers' 105-103 overtime loss to the Rockets on Sunday, LeBron James posted this introspective mirror selfie to Instagram:

What was running through LeBron's mind? SportsNation sparked a #LeBronMirrorThoughts trend to answer that question. Possibilities include:

I still don't understand the color of #TheDress:

My son would've made those free throws:

Wow, DeAndre Jordan actually had a higher free throw percentage than me Sunday:

...

I feel like Stuart Smalley:

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LeBron James is too old for the dunk contest? The King said it, but Marcellus Wiley is crying foul.

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Before and after their game Monday, the Atlanta Hawks and Minnesota Timberwolves traded barbs on Twitter via Spotify playlists.

Naturally, this started a trend, as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade made their own playlists for each other before the Miami Heat visited the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. And although these* were shared privately, our sources within the NBA leaked them to us.

Here they are:

*Note: Playlists might not be real.

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Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

2014-15 NBA schedule released

The 2014-15 NBA schedule is here, with some pretty sweet matchups highlighting the season's big days. The opening-night slate comprises Dallas Mavericks-San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets-Los Angeles Lakers. On Christmas, the Cleveland Cavaliers make their first trip to Miami since LeBron James left the Heat, while Western Conference titans Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs square off in Texas. It's all part of a regular season that promises to be compelling.

  • Which NBA opening-night game are you most looking forward to?

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  • Which Christmas Day game are you most looking forward to?

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  • Which of these is your favorite day of games during the NBA regular season?

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  • If you were a Heat fan, how would you welcome LeBron James when the Cavaliers play in Miami on Dec. 25?

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  • Which player's return from injury in 2014-15 is more intriguing?

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  • What do you make of the NBA giving teams a full week off around the All-Star break?

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  • How many regular-season NBA games do you usually attend per year?

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  • Which team will finish with the best regular-season record?

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