One of my least favorite things about the NBA is that every time a bench unit does well together to the point where they’re recognized by the media, they almost always get nicknamed “The Bench Mob.” The Kings have been the Bench Mob, the Celtics have been the Bench Mob, the Bulls were the Bench Mob as recently as last season, and people are already trying to make the Nets’ bench full of old, bald shooting guards in to the new Bench Mob. This sort of thing would not stand for individual players, so it shouldn’t stand for benches.

And that’s why this sort of thing is such a breath of fresh air. From ESPN :

We all had our own lame ideas [for a bench nickname]. I threw out “Lob Deep,” but was immediately shot down. Dan Woike of the Orange County Register threw out “Mob Deep,” but he found out the New York Knicks had used that nickname last year. Woike then got a tweet from a San Francisco Bay Area follower with the handle @squidwai and “A Tribe Called Bench” was born.

Over the past three games, the Clippers have started to play highlights of the second unit to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario” and the #ATribeCalledBench hashtag has started trending on Twitter in Los Angeles during Clippers games.

OK, so “A Tribe Called Bench” is a pretty bad nickname and not even the best iteration of that particular phrase in this particular situation — I’d vote “A Bench Called Quest,” since it doesn’t make a whole bunch of sense to have two collective terms in the same nickname for one unit — but at least someone is trying something other than Bench Mob. I appreciate the ingenuity of reaching for a classic rap group to describe one of the most exciting 5-man squads in the league.

And because it’ll be fun to call Eric Bledsoe “The 5-Foot Assassin” or Lamar Odom “The Ummah,” let’s try to figure out an actually great nickname based upon A Tribe Called Quest’s works. Together we can do this.

  • Midquarter Marauders
  • The Paths of Rhythm
  • The Love Movement
  • Vibes and Stuffs
  • Layups to Go
  • The Clips, Part II
  • The Skypagers
  • The Funky Diabetics
  • Industry Rule No. 4080
  • Butter Babies
  • The Award Tour
  • RRRRRROAW RRRRRRROAW, the Dunkin’ Dragons
  • Native Dunks
  • Ballevard Status
  • The Low End of the Bench Theory

Maybe you are thinking that none of these are good nicknames, and maybe you are right. But that’s where you come in — leave your best ATCQ-themed nickname for the Clippers’ bench in the comments below. Winner gets the satisfaction of being great at the internet.

Comments (46)

  1. Last year’s Sixers bench unit was dubbed ‘the night shift’ – one of the best recent nicknames.

    “The Clippers’ second unit just left the oppontent’s defense in El Segundo”

  2. What is a playoff team without a deep bench?

  3. This would be so much easier if they had a dude on their bench named Al Segundo.

  4. to have two*

    still love the article, 3 kerby.

  5. “Jazz (We’ve Got)” – Tas Melas

  6. Linden Boulevard represent, represent
    Tribe called quest represent, represent
    When the mic is in my hand, I’m never hesitant
    My favourite jam back in the day was Eric B. for president

  7. Eric “Buggin Out” Bledsoe.

    DeAndre “Gimme That” Jordan.

  8. Okay, it’s obvious and stupid, but how about “A Bench Called Rest”? IT WORKS BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU DO ON A BENCH

  9. Benchin’ Out.

    Subbin’ Out would be great, but they’re actually subbin in

  10. Ronny’s Lament

  11. How about Wu-inspired nicknames?

    The Subs of Shaolin (Also works as a Jeremy Lin pun)
    The 6th Chamber (much more inclusive than 6th Man)
    Killa B-team
    Clan on Da Bench
    Older Guards
    Grizzly Pit

    “Ummah” means “Nation” in Arabic, so calling Lamar Odom an Ummah is kinda mean considering the shape he’s been in for the past couple of seasons.

  12. Barnes, Ronny & Lamar

  13. Lawler – “Oh Me Oh My God”

  14. I’m going with The Award Tour and MIdquarter Marauders, fuckin love trbe

  15. “Passes From the Abstract.”

  16. Most of these are bad, but I like some of them.

    Bonita Applebaum, you gotta put me on.
    Clippers Instinctive Travel on the Paths to Victory.
    The Lob Movement
    The infamous game rape. ( Never would fly, and shouldn’t)
    Oh My Lob
    Excursions (Excursions are a short trip, in this case to the floor)
    Subbin Out
    Can I Win It? (Yes, they can, as evidenced by last nights defeat of the Raptors)
    4th QTips
    Willie, Chauncey, Trey Thompkins (A pretty bad play on Ali Shaheed Muhammed)
    The Abstracts

    Check the Dimes

  17. Just throwing my hat in the ring.

    -The Bench Movement
    -The B-Side (y’all remember cassettes, right?)
    -Hot Bench
    -Rock The Bench (not ATCQ, but not bad)

    if not, my vote is for:
    •RRRRRROAW RRRRRRROAW, the Dunkin’ Dragons (Good examples, Trey)

  18. Microphone Check, one two, what is it? The Clippers Bench with the roughneck business.

  19. “You got BBD all up on your bedroom wall
    But I’m Above the Rim and this is how I ball”
    -Phife, Electric Relaxation

    Those lyrics should be played whenever the Clipper Bench enters into a game.

    • A random thought – more teams should play “Above the Rim” at arenas. One of the best basketball songs ever, yet I haven’t noticed it being played. Of course, I’m a guy who’s stuck in the 90s, but still…

  20. Clippers new theme song! Yes I just came up with this myself, copyright pending…

    Can I Clip it? (yes, you can!) *7x*
    Well, Im gone (go on then!)

    Can I Clip it? to all the people who can pass like Chris does
    Before Blake, did you really know what high was?
    DeAndre to the rack, skyin’ high cuz
    Gettin Crawford on the tip with an And-1
    Pick and roll to the beat of the dunk buzz
    Wipe your feet really good on the sticky rug
    If you feel the urge to freak, do a big dunk
    Come and spread the floor if you really need a run
    Give-and-go living is a big must
    A life filled with hoops that’s what I love
    A Laker plateau is what were above
    If you diss us, we wont even think of
    Will Barnes the baller give a big shove?
    This team really fits like a snug glove
    Like a box of Jordan 1s is a plus, love
    As the bench flies high like a dove

    Can I Clip it? (yes, you can!) *7x*
    Well, Im gone (go on then!)

    Can I Clip it? to my team thats filled with players
    Right now, Bledsoe is a point maker
    At times, even a ball faker
    Mr. Griffin, would you please be my mayor?
    Youll be doing us a really big favor
    Caron Butler really has a lot of flavor
    When it comes to dimes, Chris is your savior
    Follow us for the dunkin behavior
    Fake em’ out on the dribble we gave ya
    Feel free, drop your rants, it ain’t fa-ir
    Do you like the jerseys that we wear?
    I instruct you not to be a hater
    A winning recipe that we’ll savor
    Doesn’t matter if you’re Raps or Lakers
    Yes, the tribe of the game, real players
    As we win you try to catch some air

  21. Obviously “L.A: Dinghy”


  23. I don’t eat no Slam and eggs

  24. Benchlectric Relaxation

    Non tribe:
    The Red Barons (B Diddy is sort of still missed, at least by me)
    The Swaggy P Memorial Ensemble
    Vinny’s Angels

  25. Low Post Theory
    Bust up off the bench, now you got Wayne Simiens Furniture

  26. Award Turiaf

    Oh My Bled

  27. “We Can Get Up” … like, you know, take the lead?

    “I can do a dunk with the opposite hand,
    I used to stuff Wade, he ain’t no Elton Brand.”

  28. Everything is Fair [When you live in LOB City]

    Rhythm [Devoted to the Art of Makin' Dunks]

    Sucka Nergo [Vinny Del]

    Jamal ‘Handles From the Abstract’ Crawford

    Eric Bledsoe, Stir It Up

    Can I ‘Shoot’ It? Yes you can

    Extremities Ib Rhythm

    Reserved for when playing them, ‘We’ve GOT the Jazz’ *cue music & pillow, scene.

    • LOL Sucka Negro

    • So I was thinking of that song they played Opening Night
      “Breaking a Sweat” by Zedds Dead/Skrillex+ Members of the Doors ….

      “Sweat Breakers” was corn, but then it suddenly hit me.

      * Breaking Bench*


      I think I like it better than ATCB…. I think….. maybe Im tired. nite all #18 on the horizon…

  29. Pubic “NBA” Enemy…best b-side ATCQ song…

  30. I thought “A tribe Called Bench” was clever…so long as the the reference isn’t missed entirely. OK so its a 7 and not a 9, but even without the pop ref the word “bench” free of thedefinite article is tonic, gutteral,
    but heres my brainchildren ()or so they seem at 4:45am):;

    The Second Event
    The Second Coming
    Mojo Rising
    The Cleaners
    The Wake (you know, like a Clipper might leave)
    Chaos Theory
    Chaos FACT (or, how I learned to relax and love being posterized)

    18 in a row perhaps?

  31. … my imagination wont leave well enuf alone …

    Bench This!
    Writing on the Wall
    Ordinance of Chaos
    Full Press Bench
    The Perfect Storm

    ….I may need to pay Charlie Sheen royalties for this final one….
    Violent Love

  32. You should add this one (or write a separate story about it):


  33. The fresh bench of lob air

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