Again, Iman Shumpert might be the best rapper in the NBA. And he’s certainly the best rapper in the league who has come out with a song about his team this season, so at least he can hang his hightop fade on that. But most of all, he’s a rapper who teased a release and had actually released it when he said he would, which is almost unheard of in the rap world. Pretty impressive.
I don’t want to risk Stephen Jackson punching me or trying to feed me a dangerous number of deep-fried ribs, so I will tread very carefully here — Iman Shumpert might be the best rapper in the NBA. I’m not going to definitively say whether or not he is, but he’s certainly up there.
Don’t get mad, Stephen Jackson. I’m just being honest.
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.
The Paths of Rhythm
The Love Movement
Vibes and Stuffs
Layups to Go
The Clips, Part II
The Funky Diabetics
Industry Rule No. 4080
The Award Tour
RRRRRROAW RRRRRRROAW, the Dunkin’ Dragons
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.
We all know the possibly apocryphal story of Jay-Z having to convince David Stern that the Nets should be allowed to wear plain black-and-white uniforms, which seems suspect since there are several teams who wear black and the league denied those reports as fast as they could. True or not, it was the first time we heard about Jay having to push back on something he thought would look awesome, which he was half-right about. (The black jerseys are great. The white ones are Old Navy.)
But it certainly set a precedent, as Jay-Z is now saying he also had to fight for his right to party while getting no sleep till Brooklyn for the Nets’ wonderful herringbone floor. From GQ:
The court: “It’s herringbone, which is crazy. In fact, the NBA fought me on it. They said if it gets shot on TV, the lines will mess up the screen. I’m like, this ain’t 1988—we’ve got HD. We ended up taking it to the old arena in New Jersey to test it.”
And I’m glad that Jay won this argument, because that floor really does look great on our 2012 HD televisions. It’s a little bit darker than most floors, and when it’s gleaming and squiggling with those dark stands and lowered crowd lights, it’s just a different look than the NBA arenas we’re used to. Quite the treat, if you ask me.
So basically, what I’m arguing for is that Jay-Z should be allowed to make every aesthetic choice for the entire NBA. Granted, that might lead to something like this, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.
I think we can all agree that this is the perfect time for an impromptu round of typing-only Pun Gun. I mean, if the fourth-biggest daily paper in the United States can do it, why can’t we? I’ll start.
Nets beat Knicks, on to the next one
Brooklyn D’efense comes up big in win against Knicks
Nets ask: ‘Can I Get a Win Win?”
Curls, curls, curls: How Deron Williams’ haircut is taking over Brooklyn
Nets brush Knicks off their shoulder
It’s a hard Knicks loss for them
Reggie What, Reggie Who — Evans cleans glass in Nets win
Prokhorov plan proves money ain’t a thang
Ask the Knicks, they don’t want it with Nets, nooooooo!
Stackhouse: “I Just Wanna Shoot U (Give It 3 Me)”
Please add yours in the comments, but make sure they’re Nets-Knicksy. Or else.
(Note: Some bad words in here, but it’s rap music so it goes by pretty quickly.)
Kind of a bummer to see Kevin Durant having such a great time rapping on stage with his buddy Privaledge while James Harden is bopping along in the background. It’s like a “Sopranos” flashback when Tony and Pussy are being pals, only about 400 pounds lighter.