The Mask
When it comes to consistency, effectiveness and identification with the common fan, few things in sports can match Rip Hamilton’s mask. In fact, I think it should be inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
After breaking his nose several times earlier in his career, Hamilton was advised by doctors during the 2004 season to wear the mask for the rest of his career to prevent significant nasal reconstructive surgery.
The creator of the mask is Jeremy Murray, a certified orthotist and registered occupational therapist at the Michigan Hand & Sports Rehab Center. He’s also responsible for the masks of former Pistons Bill Laimbeer and Tyler Hansbrough when he was at North Carolina. There’s even a video from Murray on how a sports mask is made.
The mask even gets special favors from teams. The Bulls once had a no headband policy under Scott Skiles, which resulted in the benching of Ben Wallace when he didn’t abide by the rules in a particular game. But when Hamilton signed with Chicago, he was given special clearance by Bulls’ management because it prevents sweat from entering his mask.
As for Hamilton’s feelings on the mask: "I love it. It’s like my identity. If someone doesn’t watch basketball, an old lady, they always know who wears the mask. It’s my identity and I’ll wear it the rest of my career."
And in perhaps the greatest tribute to the mask, when Hamilton walked off the court in the series-clinching win over the Lakers in the 2004 NBA Finals, he removed his mask, held it up to the crowd and pointed to it with his index finger.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a hall of fame moment if I’ve ever heard one.
photo via Oakley & Allen

The Mask

When it comes to consistency, effectiveness and identification with the common fan, few things in sports can match Rip Hamilton’s mask. In fact, I think it should be inducted into the Hall Of Fame.

After breaking his nose several times earlier in his career, Hamilton was advised by doctors during the 2004 season to wear the mask for the rest of his career to prevent significant nasal reconstructive surgery.

The creator of the mask is Jeremy Murray, a certified orthotist and registered occupational therapist at the Michigan Hand & Sports Rehab Center. He’s also responsible for the masks of former Pistons Bill Laimbeer and Tyler Hansbrough when he was at North Carolina. There’s even a video from Murray on how a sports mask is made.

The mask even gets special favors from teams. The Bulls once had a no headband policy under Scott Skiles, which resulted in the benching of Ben Wallace when he didn’t abide by the rules in a particular game. But when Hamilton signed with Chicago, he was given special clearance by Bulls’ management because it prevents sweat from entering his mask.

As for Hamilton’s feelings on the mask: "I love it. It’s like my identity. If someone doesn’t watch basketball, an old lady, they always know who wears the mask. It’s my identity and I’ll wear it the rest of my career."

And in perhaps the greatest tribute to the mask, when Hamilton walked off the court in the series-clinching win over the Lakers in the 2004 NBA Finals, he removed his mask, held it up to the crowd and pointed to it with his index finger.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a hall of fame moment if I’ve ever heard one.

photo via Oakley & Allen

279 notes

  1. itscoffee reblogged this from stevenlebron
  2. watsupwitdat reblogged this from nbaoffseason and added:
    The man in the mask….an interesting read, I never knew Rip had this mask for that long
  3. chiletdoteightyone reblogged this from nbaoffseason
  4. kylearvinyoung reblogged this from asvp
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  16. motivationandgoalsinlife reblogged this from nbaoffseason
  17. ledunkdelamort reblogged this from nbaoffseason and added:
    He’s like a super hero! O.O
  18. smoothlinesandstupidjokes reblogged this from nbaoffseason
  19. allday619 reblogged this from 24seconds
  20. samiam313 reblogged this from nbaoffseason and added:
    Beware the mask!
  21. wewantbalance reblogged this from 24seconds
  22. stevenlebron posted this


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