There are hundreds of basketball players who suffer deformities in their toes. Images of players with such jacked-up toes at times pop up on social media. And this ignites debate as to why most players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) have deformed toes on either one of the feet or both.
Basketball fans share different views as to what the cause of toes deformity among NBA stars could be. For some, it is caused by hereditary as said by a podiatrist in the past. Others too believe the career choice is to blame for the jacked-up toes on most NBA players feet.
However, in this article, we’ll discuss what the actual cause of the problem is, and if there is a remedy to deal with it. We’ll also look at some of the legends who have the messy toes.
Why are NBA players feet deformed?
Basketball, as we are all aware of, is a sport that requires a lot of running, jumping, and pivoting from the players on the court. The sports also involves sudden stops and turn-arounds. All these put a lot of pressure on the feet, and this can lead to various foot problems, including bunions. A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe and can cause significant pain and discomfort.
Also, basketball players do not give their shoes any break. They are most often wearing their shoes either in training sessions or during games.This continuous wearing of shoes also contribute to the messy toes we see on basketball players feet.
According to Dr. Kevin Kirby, a podiatrist based in Sacramento, wearing of tight shoes all the times, is one of the major causes of bunion. Dr. Kirby who has been practicing for almost 40 years, said this in a Facebook post. But all basketball players undoubtedly wear shoes that tight them strongly. Therefore, it is valid to say NBA players are highly likely to suffer toes deformity.
Some notable NBA players with messy toes
There are so many renowned or top NBA players who have bunions or deformed toes. These players include past and current ones. Below is the list of six of such NBA legends.
- Shaquille O’Neal: Shaq is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. However, he suffered from bunions during his playing days. He has even spoken about his struggles with foot pain and had to undergo surgery to correct his bunions. Despite the pain, he was able to play through it and have a successful career.
- LeBron James: If you have ever seen LeBron James feet before, then you will know that the star-player has bunions. This has been backed by Dr. Kevin Kirby, a Sacramento-based podiatrist with several years of experience.
- Charles Barkley: Barkley is another legend who is known to have bunions. He played for 16 seasons in the league and was known for his aggressive style of play. However, he had to undergo surgery to remove a bunion on his right foot in 1997. He has since recovered and has been an advocate for athletes to take care of their feet to prevent such injuries.
- Tim Duncan: Tim Duncan is a retired player who is widely regarded as one of the greatest power forwards of all time. He played for 19 seasons and won five championships during his career. However, he is known to also have messy toes.
- Kevin Love: Kevin Love currently plays for the Cavaliers. He has struggled with foot problems throughout his career. He is known to have bunion, and went for surgery in 2018 to correct it. Love entered the league after the 2008 NBA draft where he was picked by Memphis Grizzlies as the fifth overall pick in the first round.
- Dirk Nowitzki: Dirk Nowitzki is a retired NBA player who played for 21 seasons and is widely regarded as one of the best power forwards in the history of the league. He suffered from bunions throughout his career and even underwent surgery to correct them.