Archive for the ‘A List’ Category

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.

David Stern has a well-documented history of busting out menacing phrases to make his point, with his promise of “substantial sanctions” upon Gregg Popovich and the Spurs being the most recent example. Stern doesn’t just blurt these out of the blue, though. He’s working down a list, and we’ve gained exclusive access to said list, and transcribed it for easy perusal. Take a gander:

MENACING PHRASES TO USE WHEN I AM MAD
By David

  • Enormous consequences.
  • Substantial sanctions.
  • Massive ramifications.
  • Humongous damages.
  • Gargantuan penalties.
  • Elephantine punishments.
  • Big troubles.
  • “Big Trouble,” but the Tim Allen movie, not the Dave Barry novel on which it’s based.
  • Things that are seriously very, very bad.
  • So much yelling.
  • How much money do you have? Give it.
  • A series of strongly-worded letters.
  • Misspelled surnames on all your jerseys.
  • Solid metal ping-pong balls at the draft lottery.
  • No more home games.
  • No more home games and everybody but you gets jetpacks.
  • New dress code: chainmail only.
  • Back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-backs.
  • Everybody gets express written consent to re-broadcast and reproduce your broadcasts.
  • Distractible mop guys.
  • Only referees who have previously been mugged in your home city.
  • Pussycat Dolls.
  • Muppet fur in your lotion.
  • Guess what? You just signed Larry Hughes.
  • First 18,000 fans in attendance get a complimentary gong.
  • Ankles are now forbidden. No more ankles.
  • Slimy basketballs.
  • Moron Mountain is a real place. Just saying.
  • Droves of syphilitic hares.
  • A plate filled with what you think are delicious cookies but actually it’s just a picture of delicious cookies.
  • Boils.

Feel free to give David a hand with some more menacing phrases in the comments below.

 

If you would have polled 1,600 random people on Friday night about who was going to be the new Lakers coach, Phil Jackson would have been the overwhelming choice. My dad even emailed me about it, and that’s how you know it’s serious.

But then, out of almost nowhere, we all wake up and Mike D’Antoni is the mustachioed coach who was picked to lead the Lakers to the promised land. And the reason, at least according to my friend Multiple Sources, was that Phil Jackson wanted way too much of everything in order to take over his old team. From the Los Angeles Times:

Jackson was the overwhelming favorite to return to the Lakers until they heard his informal demands, which included a stake in team ownership, according to a person familiar with the situation.

“He was asking for the moon,” said the person, who also declined to be identified because they are not authorized to discuss the situation.

You know, fair enough. If the Lakers think it’s smarter to hire a somewhat cheaper coach while still paying out the contract of the guy they just fired, then I get that. And if Phil Jackson was seriously asking for a piece of ownership, then I totally get it. That’s a lot of control to give up to a guy who kind of just quits out of nowhere sometimes.

However, four superstars being coached by a coach who excels at coaching superstars does make a lot of sense. Pretty much the most sense possible, actually. Which is why Phil Jackson’s demands must have been totally crazy for the Lakers to offer the job to Mike D’Antoni. Amazingly, TBJ found and transcribed the informal list that Jackson submitted to the Lakers’ braintrust. Here’s what we found.

  • A stake in team ownership.
  • A steak dinner with the team’s owner’s daughter, paid for by the team owner (apps and zerts included).
  • Small private jet. Nothing fancy, just a free private jet to fly places.
  • Golden toilet.
  • Complimentary membership in Jam of the Month club.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s jacket.
  • Courtside seats for his advisor, Hungry Bear.
  • Facial hair consultation session with Lou Adler.
  • One free No. 19 from Langer’s Deli a week.
  • All of the peyote. All of it.
  • An even taller chair on the bench.
  • “I don’t care how you do it, but I need Luke and Derek back.”
  • One forum blue top hat with a gold ribbon.
  • Team-sanctioned meet and greet with Jemaine Clement of “Flight of the Conchords” to determine once and for all whether they do or don’t look like father and son.
  • Adamantium hip implants.

As you can see, he really did ask the Lakers for quite a bit. I mean, where do you even find enough adamantium to make an entire human hip? It might come back to bite them in the end, but it’s certainly understandable why so it’s easy to see why the Lakers would turn him down. In this economy? Come on. Feel free to add your own requests in the comments.

Did you hear Mike Brown got fired? It’s true. As such, the Lakers need a new coach. Here are a few ideas.

  • Phil Jackson
  • Mike D’Antoni
  • Jerry Sloan
  • Mike Krzyzewski
  • Mike Green
  • Mike Grey
  • Mike Black
  • Mike Periwinkle
  • Chuck Person
  • Wesley Person
  • Wesley Sneijder
  • Wesley Snipes
  • Bernie Bickerstaff
  • Lernie Lickerlaugh
  • Brian Shaw
  • Brian Rogers
  • Brian Bell
  • Lindsay Lohan
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Lou Adler
  • Yori Saneyoshi
  • Takeru Kobayashi
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Derek Fisher
  • Pat Riley
  • Ry Patley
  • Anybody who isn’t Stan Van Gundy

Feel free to leave your stupid suggestions in the comments. The stupider the better.

Huge, life-changing news out of the league office last night. From NBA.com’s David Aldridge:

The league will announce Wednesday a change to its All-Star ballot that will, for the first time, allow fans to vote for three undefined “frontcourt” players instead of having to vote for two forwards and a center. With more and more teams playing smaller than in the past, the definition of “center” was becoming increasingly difficult — not to mention finding enough quality big men for whom to vote.

Now you might be thinking that this isn’t a big deal and that random centers are often the least deserving All-Stars on their respective teams, simply because they’re forced in there due to their coaches deciding to list them as centers during the regular season. But that’s exactly the point — without a couple of undeserving All-Stars now and then, we’ll be missing out on a whole bunch of jokes.

For instance, if center was never a defined position for the All-Star Game, the following jokes wouldn’t even exist.

  • Any and all references to the time Jamaal Magloire made an All-Star team (2004), despite the fact he played pretty well the one time he made it.
  • Roy Hibbert telling us at this past All-Star Game that his superpower would be to never stop growing.
  • Tas being infatuated with Al Horford’s beautiful eyes during media day.
  • Chris Kaman and David Lee taking basketball back to the 1980s during the 2010 All-Star Game
  • Brad Miller going down in history as one of the few players to have played in back-to-back All-Star Games while switching conferences in between.
  • All those times Dikembe Mutombo would freak out during boring dunks at the dunk contest.
  • Jermaine O’Neal ruining Michael Jordan’s 2003 game-winner with a really dumb foul on Kobe Bryant.
  • Michael Jordan getting dap from Brad Miller and Zydrunas Ilgauskas of all people after hitting that should-have-been game-winner.
  • A man named James Donaldson going down as the worst All-Star ever, being selected to the 1988 game during a season where he averaged seven points and nine rebounds per game.

As you can see, there is a lot at stake here. I know we are in the midst of the Positional Revolution and that this is supposed to reflect that, but we are still living in the Meme Society and I think we can all agree that All-Star laughs are some of the best things about All-Star Weekend. This is truly the end of an era.

Rest in peace, center spot. By being so bad, you’ve been very good to us.

Michael Jordan’s old credit card is going to be auctioned soon, meaning you can own the very piece of plastic that was used to buy a closet full of baggy dad jeans. So that is pretty cool, I guess.

And while you might not think it’s possible to buy anything with an expired credit card, well, don’t tell Michael Jordan there’s something he can’t do unless you want to end up in a Hall of Fame speech. The key, as you may have surmised, is to only buy things that would have been relevant back when the card was active, then hope they still hold up in 2012.

With that in mind, here’s a list of things you could buy today with Michael Jordan’s expired credit card.

  • Yellow sweater vest/gigantic untucked white dress shirt 2-for-1combination shirt
  • iPod Nano covers that look like wool socks
  • “Confessions of an Heiress,” Paris Hilton’s autobiography
  • Distressed military hat
  • Kwame Brown
  • Lot of 100 Livestrong bracelets (or lot of 100 Kabbalah red string bracelets)
  • Tickets to the Blue Collar Comedy Tour
  • “Napoleon Dynamite” on DVD
  • “Chappelle’s Show” season one box set
  • Anything off of the Britney Spears-Kevin Federline wedding registry
  • Opening night tickets to “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo”
  • Trucker hats
  • Myspace stock
  • Black Eyed Peas “My Humps” CD single
  • Black Eyed Peas “Let’s Get It Started” CD single
  • Black Eyed Peas “Don’t Phunk with My Heart” CD single
  • Black Eyed Peas “Hey Mama” CD single
  • Good odds on who would be named the new pope
  • Gilbert Arenas All-Star jersey

So you see, having Michael Jordan’s expired credit card is definitely going to come in handy, as pretty much nothing here is going to seem dated in today’s day and age. And while this list is a very good start, you know Michael Jordan had a pretty massive credit line. Ergo, let’s hear some of your purchases in the comments.

(via Darren Brovell/Ball Don’t Lie)

In 1992, the Dream Team helped set two important precedents: 1. America would be represented by its best professional, not amateur, players, and 2. Future United States men’s basketball squads would be given a moniker that rhymed with “team.” 1996 saw “The Dream Team III” win gold, 2008 brought us the “Redeem Team” and some have already dubbed this year’s web-savvy squad the “Meme Team.”

Keeping with that tradition, what follows is a list of some United States Olympic teams we’ll likely see in the coming years:

  • The Hakeem Team: A group of players who have spent the summer (between one and three hours, including lunch) working with Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. Members will include Amar’e Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and, somehow, JaVale McGee.
  • The Scalene Team: A team that runs only the triangle offense. Tensions rise when Kobe insists Phil Jackson taught the triangle as more of an isosceles.
  • The “I Have a Dream” Team: Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry, and Jason Kidd head a super team of biracial players. The back of the bus remains empty.
  • The Steam Team: In the future, Greg Stiemsma will be cloned 11 times and a team formed with his doppelgangers. This team will fail to qualify for the Olympics, but will be invoked frequently as a cautionary tale on the limits of genetic science.
  • The Upstream Team: After all other players refuse to join, a desperate U.S. sends a two-man team of John Salmons and Derek Fisher to compete in the Olympics. They fail to medal in basketball but win gold in beach volleyball.
  • The C.R.E.A.M. Team: Max players only, with a starting five of Roy Hibbert, Gilbert Arenas, Rudy Gay, Joe Johnson and Rashard Lewis.
  • The Green Team: Michael Beasley, Delonte West, and Tracy McGrady’s eyes lead this group of marijuana enthusiasts. Training camp starts April 20. Mark Blount to coach.

Feel free to add your best rhyming names in the comments.