The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the top teams in the NBA, and if the shirt above is any indication, they also have some of the best team morale.
According to ESPN LA’s Arash Markazi, the Clippers will be debuting these “A Tribe Called Bench” shirts on Christmas Day. The shirt’s slogan is a play on the name of the famous hip-hop group “A Tribe Called Quest” (LB’s favorite group of all time), which has become the nickname for the team’s second unit.
The shirt features the mugs of the team’s bench players. From top-to-bottom, left-to-right, pictured are: Lamar Odom, Ryan Hollins, Grant Hill, Trey Thompkins, Ronny Turiaf, Jamal Crawford, Eric Bledsoe, Willie Green, and Matt Barnes.
Markazi wrote an article on Dec. 9 explaining how the “A Tribe Called Bench” nickname came about. The short version is people decided the bench needed a nickname, and someone on Twitter suggest that one.
We’ve actually been down this road many times before. Almost every time a team’s bench unit begins playing well, it acquires the nickname “The Bench Mob.” The Basketball Jones had a rundown on this tired trend. Last season, the Knicks’ bench was named “Mobb Deep.” At least this Clippers’ nickname is original.
The best part about the shirt is that Phife Dawg, one of the group’s rappers, told Markazi he wanted one of the shirts. I’ve got an idea for a trade, Phife: Clippers give you a box of shirts, and you come to LA and perform for all the Tribe fans at Staples Center. Deal?
Photo credit: Arash Markazi