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.