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Yesterday, I wrote on the "Newport Five" moniker proffered by NBC Boston's Chris Forsberg, and while I love the guy's work, I have to agree the branding isn't strong.

As a regular reader noted, the connection isn't clear, and I agree. 

It's also in response to external factors in the form of the Golden State Warriors' "Hamptons Five" nickname to some extent, and that fits the Bay-area, Silicon Valley cash-infused ethos of that squad.

Newport might be a cool place to practice, but it doesn't fit the ethos of the New England most of us live(d) in, nor the Boston Celtics

I appreciate the layered thinking by Forsberg, but it's just not very organic. It also makes me think of Newport stogies and 'Drew Breadstick', which kinda works.

The second unit, however, forged their own nickname, one that's both accurate, and pithy: "Bench With Attitude", or BWA - a reference to a hip-hop supergroup NWA, known for their aggressive, gritty lyrics in a way that clearly connects with Boston's backups style of play.

This morning, relaxing over coffee, I read the comments on yesterday's piece, and asked myself what comes before a groundbreaking unit known for being the foundation of something historic - and a light bulb went off.

World-Class Wrecking Crew.

Before NWA burst on the scene, members Dr. Dre and Dj Yella were part of World Class Wreckin' Cru, a pioneer of early electro and hip-hop in southern California; without them, there'd not only be no NWA, but the very face of modern hip-hop would be radically different.

The analogy might not be perfect (you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who'd consider World Class Wreckin' Cru were the better outfit, for example), but the connection is clearer, if nothing else. If anything, it may be over-ambitious and imbalanced when one digs in deeper, but for me, at least, it works.



I'm fully prepared to accept I'm too old to be good at these nickname conversations given I bought NWA cassette singles when they first came out, but with that admission, I ask - if not the World-Class Wrecking Crew or Newport Five, what would you call these world-class crew wreckers in our starting five?

Let us know in the comments below.

For more stories by Justin, click here.



Image: Fantagraphics ; video; Heat Check/Boston Celtics/YouTube
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 9/29/2018 01:02:00 PM Edit
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