Kobe Bryant

For all the Lakers fans who’ve grown quite fond of the “Kobe Mask” through three exciting post-All-Star games, even its job isn’t secure as Bryant searches for the best way to maximize his performance while not 100 percent.

Lakers trainer Gary Vitti plans to meet Monday with the innovator of the basketball mask, Detroit-based Jerry McHale, to look into possible upgrade from the mask Bryant has been wearing to protect his broken nose.

McHale first introduced the mask into the NBA world for the Pistons’ Bill Laimbeer to play with an orbital fracture, and McHale also designed Richard Hamilton’s famous mask that is helped the Pistons beat the Lakers in the 2004 NBA Finals and Hamilton continues to wear despite his broken nose having healed.

– Reported by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register