Because you’re a big-time basketball fan, you can probably name the Indiana Pacers’ five starters. Go ahead, it’s super easy. You picked Darren Collison, Brandon Rush (or the injured Mike Dunleavy), Danny Granger, Josh McRoberts and Roy Hibbert, right? Duh, you did. Those guys are household names.
But their bench — well, that’s a different story. Is Derrick McKey still there? Dale Davis? Anthony Davis? Austin Croshere? See, this one is hard. Luckily, those guys — whoever they are — have come up with something a little bit easier to remember. From the Indy Star:
“We’re not the prettiest bunch,” [Tyler] Hansbrough said. “We’re not the smoothest, either. If you look at our game, it’s kind of dirty. I just found a dirty name and called us the Goon Squad. We go out there and do the dirty work.”
Not bad. References Elvis Costello, “Space Jam” and a 1980′s dance group, so that’s definitely going to work for me. Not to mention, “Dirty Work” was one of my favorite movies in high school. As far as I’m concerned, this is a win. Much easier to remember than trying to recall Tyler Hansbrough, A.J. Price, Dahntay Jones, Paul George and Jeff Foster as the Pacers’ second unit. Upgrade.
Even better, they’re really selective with their membership. You can’t just be any geek off the street.
Hansbrough said there’s no initiation process or requirement necessary to become a part of the Goon Squad. But it takes time to earn a spot in the select group.
Rookie Lance Stephenson recently tried to say he was part of the unit, but Hansbrough jokingly said, “You’re not ready yet, because you’re still working on your minutes.”
Get out of here, Lance Stephenson. You’ve played 39 minutes. You can be part of the Goon Squad when you’re not being an actual goon. There is no initiation process, but one of the main things is that you should probably play more than three games. Sit down, man.
But really, this is fun. No one knows who the Pacers bench are, even though they sop up a bunch of minutes, play hard, play fast and generally keep Indiana in games when their starters need a rest. They’re a good, fun bench made up of a bunch of guys no one knows, save for Hansbrough who’s known for his college exploits. If any team’s second unit deserves to make up their own nickname, it’s the early-2000′s Sacramento Kings. But besides them, it’s the Pacers.
So yeah, the Goon Squad. Hope it sticks.