Recently DC sports media has been focusing on Paul Pierce. Piece, the 37-year-old basketball star who recently came from the Celtics (and a quick season with the Nets) to join the Wizards during Washington’s best season in decades. Pierce is a phenomenal basketball player; he is a ten-time All-Star, a four-time All-NBA team selection, has won an NBA Championship and is one of the very few people who can adequately rock a head sweatband (this might actually be the most impressive of his feats). Among his many, many accolades, Pierce is most notably known for being the ultimate hype man.
He consistently led the Celtics through many successful seasons during his 15 years in Boston, and now he’s giving DC something to really cheer about. He’s a player who can back up his words with his game, and also a natural leader who is a constant crowd amplifier. Shaquille O’Neal deemed him “The Truth” many years ago, and it seems he should be given another moniker of “The Ultimate Hype Man” as well. He pumped up his teammates and the crowd during the Wizards four-game sweep of the Raptors in the first round of the NBA playoffs and then ventured over to the Capitals 7th game of their series against the Islanders and brought his talent for tremor to a whole new sports arena. While Paul Pierce is an incredibly special player, his role as a hype man is not unique in sports. Anyone can embody this role and help a team flourish with relentless positivity, enthusiasm, and giving 110%.
During moments of downfall, when everyone has begun to hang their heads or on the brink of giving up, one player will emerge and refuse to admit defeat. This player won’t harp on past mistakes; he or she will elicit future accomplishments. The hype man becomes present in practices, games, anywhere! It doesn’t necessarily take a sobering situation for a hype man to be called into action—a team could be seconds away from winning a championship title and this player will turn to his fellow teammates and the surrounding fans and let them know the gravity of the moment. He will draw everyone in and band them together to create a memorable and explosive finale. The hype man can even produce that extra kick at the end of practice that pushes everyone to run one step farther. You don’t have to be the best player on the team to take on this role—you merely have to be unwaveringly committed to your teammates, honing your skills, and your sport.
Every team needs a hype man. The hype man does, well, exactly what the name implies—hypes up the team, the fans and the sport. No one ever is brought onto a team under the impression that they will automatically take on this role, rather it is a position that develops naturally; it comes from a player who harbors the inherent skills to lead and to excite everyone around him or her. In both the good times and the bad. If you step back and take a look at your team and think to yourself, “who is that one kid that we can always rely on to stay positive, determined and electrify everyone during the tough times?” you will find your hype man. And who knows, that person might even be you!