While chronicling changing attitudes regarding headbands, the New York Times’ John Eligon credits the Nets’ Uncle Cliffie and former Sonics standout Slick Watts as fashion pioneers.

“I used to get killed, Clifford Robinson (above) said.

He heard comments like, œTake that stupid headband off, or œYou look ridiculous in that headband.

œI heard a little bit of everything, Robinson said.

Robinson was not the first player to don a headband, but he will take credit for being the man who made it cool again. Robinson said he was the only N.B.A. player wearing a headband during his rookie season with the Portland Trail Blazers in 1989.

œWhen you think back on it, it™s actually pretty cool to be the person who brought it back to where it™s not looked at as ridiculous, Robinson said.

Like Robinson, when Watts started wearing a headband, he was not in search of a modeling contract.

œI had sweat everywhere, Watts (above) said by telephone from Seattle, where he lives. œI could hardly see sometimes because I played so hard.

Watts attempted to solve his perspiration problems as a sophomore at Xavier University of Louisiana with a primitive approach. He stuck duct tape around his bald head, producing an inevitable result after games.

œMy skin came with the tape, he said. œSo that was pretty horrifying.

Watts said he had no problem with players who wore headbands for the style, though he had one message, œDon™t make a statement unless you™re bringing your game.