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Mask-wearing pioneer Rip Hamilton has advice for Joel Embiid

Mask-wearing pioneer Rip Hamilton has advice for Joel Embiid

Detroit Pistons star Richard Hamilton wasn't the first player to wear a mask in the NBA but sometimes it feels like he was.

Newsweek caught up with Rip this week to talk about his mask-wearing days and to see if he had any words of wisdom for Joel Embiid. Hamilton first wore a mask for breaking his nose, but he continued to wear it for the remainder of his career.

Embiid made his first playoff appearance of his career last night in Miami while rocking a new mask complete with a custom visor to protect his eyes. It was clearly bothering him but he didn't let it dictate his play.

“It was difficult,” Embiid said of the mask. “But to me it wasn’t really about getting used to it because at the end of the day, no matter how much it bothers me, I’ve still got to be a basketball player."

Hamilton has famously said that he embraced the mask to the point of it becoming his "Batman cape" which allowed him to be more aggresive.

"Over a period of time I started to get used to it. As basketball players, a lot of times you go to the basket and it’s a lot of elbows being thrown, guys are getting poked in the eye," he told Newsweek this week. "You tend to clench up because you don’t want to get hit in the face. Once I started wearing that mask I wasn’t clenching up no more. I was willing to take contact more. I was able to get to the free throw line more because now I’m not scared of getting hit in the face. It kind of made me into a more aggressive and better basketball player."

Hamilton's message to Embiid prior to the series?

"Embrace it. Make it cool. Make it fun. Make it like a prop. Don’t get caught up in saying like, 'I got a piece of plastic on my face. I’m worrying about how I look, I’m worrying about my perception when I shoot.' When you’re out there in, like, shooting drills, don’t be so caught up in putting the mask on and trying to worry about how you shoot with it on. Put it on in the game and just wear it because our game is a non-thinking sport. React. You gotta read and react as quick as possible. The less thinking you do, the better you’ll be."

Rip also took notice of Embiid's frustration with the mask following the game. He encouraged Jo that it only gets easier.

I’ve thrown my mask off numerous times lil bro @joelembiid ...It will get more comfortable game by game ..Trust The Process. #MaskOnMaskOff#YouGotTheJuiceNow #Holdat #Yessir#Mask #TnT #nba #nbaplayoffs #sixers#sixersvsheat #LoveThisGame

Chase Utley receives Father's Day gifts from his … Dodgers teammate

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Chase Utley / Instagram

Chase Utley receives Father's Day gifts from his … Dodgers teammate

On May 20, Chase Utley indicated that his Dodger teammates have started calling him dad, so it stands to reason that on Father’s Day, they would come bearing gifts for the oldest position player in the National League.

Utley posted these two photos to his Instagram Story today showing gifts from teammate Kike Hernandez, which includes one awesome T-shirt.

In addition to his fake teammate son, Utley also has two sons, six-year-old Benjamin and three-year-old Max, who got to take part in a very special art project for their dad. Chase gave his sons a pair of white cleats to color on, which he wore for today’s game against the Giants.

They turned out how you’d expect, which is a pretty cool thing for Chase to wear on Father’s Day.

If you can’t get enough cuteness from members of the 2008 Phillies, there’s a video of Cole Hamels having tea with his five-year-old daughter, Reeve, that will melt your heart.

Baseball is a sport that can uniquely bring families together, whether someone is your real dad or just the father figure in the clubhouse.

Cole Hamels having tea with his daughter on Father's Day is ridiculously adorable

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Fox Sports Southwest

Cole Hamels having tea with his daughter on Father's Day is ridiculously adorable

OK, so the caption of Fox Sports Southwest's video is maybe a little misleading.

"The absolute CUTEST thing you will see this Fathers Day is Cole Hamels having tea with his daughter!" the caption reads.

I'm guessing that, if you're a dad, the cutest thing you'll see this Father's Day is your own kid(s). 

But man, this is an adorable video.

Former Phillie (and 2008 World Series MVP) Cole Hamels and his wife Heidi adopted five-year-old Reeve, one of their four children, from Ethiopia as a baby after she was abandoned at birth, found alone in a field by the police and placed in an orphanage. In the video, she asks Cole a series of rapid-fire questions and looks like she's having an absolute blast hanging out with her dad. So does Cole.

"If you were retired, what would you do?" Reeve asks.

"How 'bout I'd just like to be a dad, would that be good?" Hamels responds.