Friday, October 7, 2011

NBA Heroes: Lucious Harris’ Nose

Before Manu Ginobili, before Courtney Lee, before Rip Hamilton there was Lucious Harris.  More specifically, there was his nose.  Standing 2”, weighing in at 0.11 pounds, in March of 2002 Lucious Harris’ nose (hereafter referred to as “Nose”) was fed up with its role in the New Jersey Nets’ system – perhaps the least valued sense of Lucious, he found himself ignored and unused during an NBA season in which the Nets were making a strong playoff push.  Finally, in March of 2003, Nose snapped.

When Lucious Harris returned to NBA action following a stint on the Nets’ Physically Unable to Perform list, Nose found himself in quite a privileged position – behind a soon to be infamous plastic face guard.  The Face Mask completely changed Lucious’ game; in his first game back he scored 17 points and soon he found himself acting as the Nets’ 6th man during a late playoff push into the 2002 NBA Finals.  Even after Nose was given a clean bill of health, Lucious insisted on wearing his face mask as a good luck charm (and because there was a rumor that Todd McCulloch had a thing for noses.  Turns out it was pinball).  Nose took this success and ran with it, making an appearance in Sports Illustrated’s Finals coverage and helping Lucious to 8 points a game as the Nets were swept by the Lakers in the Finals

Although Nose soon faded from glory (he retired, along with Lucious, in 2005), his legend lived on.  Soon other basketball players’ noses began demanding similar treatment, and the face mask gained notoriety.  After Rip Hamilton’s nose won championships with the Detroit Pistons in 2004 and 2005, the trend of nose protection blew up.  Famous role players like Lebron James have continued the blossoming tradition of “Veneratio pro nose” (roughly translated as “Respect for Nose”), and today surveys of NBA noses suggest unprecedented levels of job satisfaction and happiness.  In 3 of the past 4 NBA seasons the league has matched or exceeded 100 ppg per team, a trend which can largely be attributed to increased nose satisfaction and the resulting improvement in quality of play.

The current trend of nose protection in the NBA and resulting increase in league wide scoring over the past twenty-fifth of a century can all be attributed to the actions of one heroic nose.  This nose refused to accept a status quo which failed to respect the organ responsible for a consensus Top 5 sense.  Instead, its courageous break from industry norms has resulted in a newfound appreciation for nostrils, a schnoz shake-up,  an olfactory overload changing the game of basketball at the professional level.

Thank God for you, Lucious Harris’ Nose.

Joe Silvestro is a regular contributor to Sports Casual, check back every Funday Friday for his witticisms concerning the Wide World of Sports.  Email him at

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty sure it's "Heros..." Or perhaps "Gyros."