The Golden State Warriors have been the NBA’s most-improved team this season, and one of the driving forces behind their remarkable turnaround has been the play of their bench. While Andrew Bogut, the team’s major acquisition, remains sidelined with his latest injury, unsung additions Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry have combined to form what is arguably the league’s most powerful one-two punch amongst reserves. With other serviceable contributors such as Draymond Green, Andris Biedrins (seriously, he’s been decent), and Charles Jenkins, the Dubs are 10-deep. While their bench doesn’t lead the league in any particular category, it does rank top 15 invirtually every basic column (PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, FG%, FT%). Pretty impressive considering that they lost a key player in Brandon Rush, who was signed to a two-year $8 million deal over the summer, to a season-ending ACL tear in November.
But what’s a great bench without a great towel-waver? If you think about it, a notable towel-waver can be associated with pretty much any worthwhile team in recent history. For example, Kobe and LeBron have each won titles alongside Ronny Turiaf, a wacky Frenchman with a perpetual supply of energy. Another prime example would be Brian Scalabrine, who cheered Boston’s Big Three along throughout their title run. Despite the fact that many of these towel-wavers rarely see any significant game action, their team spirit surpasses even that of the mascot, thus making them valuable assets. Remember, not all 12th men are content to embrace a towel-waving role. Some become so unhappy that they have an adverse effect on a team’s collective attitude. This is what makes a great towel-waver so important; not only are they unproblematic, but they actually bring something positive to the table.
As of now, Robert Sacre of the Los Angeles Lakers is the NBA’s most visible towel-waver. Like his predecessor Ronny Turiaf, Sacre’s greatest asset is his energy. He’s up off the bench engaging in some type of cheer after every single positive play the Lakers make, and he can also be seen providing encouragement when things aren’t going so well. Though just a rookie, Sacre has already proven himself an elite towel-waver capable of staying supremely enthusiastic regardless of the situation. He has a couple of signature moves, including a hand gesture to acknowledge a three-point field goal and a ninja-like leaping-karate-chop often seen following a slam dunk. Both can be viewed in the following video.
Obviously, there’s a lot more to being a great towel-waver than simply waving a towel. Like the game itself, the art of towel-waving has come a long way. It’s all about creativity nowadays, and that’s precisely the department in which Golden State’s Kent Bazemore is destroying the competition.
Like Sacre, Bazemore is a rookie. Having gone undrafted in June, he seemed an unlikely candidate to be living the dream right now. Though he plays sparingly, Bazemore is clearly thrilled to be a member of the up-and-coming Warriors. While Oakland certainly isn’t providing young Kent the type of exposure that LA does for Sacre, Bazemore’s talent is starting to be recognized. He made highlight reels with his reaction to Blake Griffin’s ugly three-point attempt on Wednesday night, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Observe, the best of Kent Bazemore:
As you can see, he has mastered an array of styles that is currently unmatched amongst all towel-wavers. It’s hard to say exactly which move is his go-to because he has so many of them, but the one where he gets down on one knee and points to the sky is quite possibly the most awesome and hilarious thing I’ve ever seen on an NBA sideline (especially when he adds the windmill motion). Hopefully this video and accompanying writeup help to bring more recognition to Bazemore’s work, which is making him the league’s clear-cut #1 towel-waver.
Golden State’s next game is on Saturday, when they travel to LA for a rematch with the Clippers. Be sure to watch the half where the Warriors are shooting at the basket in front of their own bench.
Kent Bazemore has only seen some 28 minutes of NBA action this season, but that’s not stopping the Warriors’ undrafted rookie from having his own highlight reel. When he isn’t tearing it up in Santa Cruz with the D-League affiliate or having a spot check-in for his lock-down defense, Bazemore and his contributions are pretty much summed up in this video—entertaining us from...
The Golden State bench took an inordinate amount of joy from that bricked shot, which Griffin only took because the shot clock was expiring. The glee might just be an indication of how Griffin’s style of play tends to irritate opposing players, especially since it came just minutes after Golden State’s Festus Ezeli was called for a flagrant foul for an aggressive reach in that...
Blake Griffin is one of the best players in the NBA. However he has a reputation of being a flopper and actor on the basketball court. Add Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson to the list of people that have called out Griffin for flopping.
Late in the 3rd quarter Griffin was driving to lane when Festus Ezeli tried to stop him. Ezeli grabbed his arm but Griffin make it seem like...
Since their rookie years with the Knicks David Lee and Mark Jackson have been fan favorites. Decades have separated David Lee and Mark Jackson, but one thing they hold in common? They were once NY Knicks and were groomed into the player and coach they are today during their early years in the Big Apple.
Mark Jackson, drafted 18th overall to the Knicks, came out the gate...
In the third quarter of last night's Golden State Warriors/Los Angeles Clippers affair, Clippers forward Blake Griffin decided to take an uncontested three point shot.Blake's shot didn't even come close to the rim and hit the side of the backboard as the shot clock expired.That shot would have been enough to make this site but check out the reaction from the Warriors...
The Golden State Warriors have a pretty brutal schedule this January. For what it’s worth, they’re off to a fine start! Led by the hot hand of Stephen Curry (31 points, 11-16, was 9-10 at halftime IIRC), the Dubs smacked up the Clippers in a 115-94 embarrassment of the Pacific Division frontrunners. David Lee, who recorded his 14th 20/10 line of the season, received a boisterous...
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Stephen Curry scored 25 of his game-high 31 points in the first half and the Golden State defense harassed Los Angeles Clippers stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin into subpar performances as the Warriors beat their Southern California rivals for the second time this season, 115-94 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena. The game was played less than 24 hours after the...
The Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Clippers have only lost eight games this season, but two have come at the hands of Stephen Curry and the surprising Golden State Warriors.
One was just three days ago.
Curry and the Warriors look to beat the Clippers again in order to match their longest winning streak of the season Saturday night at Staples Center.
Los Angeles (26-8) leads...
Golden State is bringing back Kent Bazemore and Jeremy Tyler after both played Tuesday night for Santa Cruz in the NBA Development League. Bazemore scored 21 points and Tyler had 18 in Santa Cruz's 109-93 victory over the Sioux Falls Skyforce in Santa Cruz. Both players were assigned to Santa Cruz on Monday before their recall to the NBA's Warriors on Wednesday.
Delivered to your inbox
receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web.
Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!
Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.