The NBA playoffs are a time for starters to earn that check and role players to step up when their number is called and spend every minute of their time on the bench going as nuts as humanly possible in the name of general morale.
It's a wild time, and it wouldn't be what it is without those bench mob heroes cheering their hearts out from the pine.
The following is a tribute to the 15 most-prolific and noteworthy bench celebrators of the past two decades. Some are starters, others never see the light of the scorer's table even in their most feverish hoop dreams.
And they are all effective at setting the hell out of some ambience.
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The patron saint of doing too much in a reserve role.
Robert Sacre remains the gold standard for aspiring NBA bench mobbers, and the innovations he made in interpretive towel spinning over the course his four-year NBA career singlehandedly elevated prop-based sideline celebrations to an art form in the league.
He is the Michelangelo of supporting the team while not playing basketball.
Go-to Move: High kick of his permanently fused tear-away warmups.
His on-court celebrations are nothing short of art, but Swagathon P. Young’s bench presence and ever-ready three-goggles are a staple of the Lakers sideline.
Go-to Move: Throwing up three goggles regardless of outcome.
Most days, David West is an average-to-serviceable member of the Golden State bench mob, but his reaction to Klay Thompson draining the biggest heat check of the season against the Pacers back in December has cemented his place in the Bench Mob Hall of Fame forever and always.
This smile is every childhood joy bundled into one.
Go-to Move: Pretending to hold teammates back for effect.
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He doesn’t do it often, but LeBron James does occasionally visit the Cavs bench, and his “celebrations” are everything you’ve come to expect from LeBron: He just nods solemnly and awards each role player with one straight-arm fist pump per made three-point field goal.
There was also that whole water bottle flipping thing at MSG, which has to go down as one of the most indirectly disrespectful things a team has ever done to the Knicks, which is saying something.
Go-to Move: Yelling at Shumpert only to forgive him immediately.
He’s toned it down since entering the starting rotation with the Hawks, but off-the-bench while with the Warriors Bazemore always Bazed the most when it came time to turn up for dunks on the floor.
Go-to Move: Smile, jump high into the air and pray the shots start falling.
As the focal point of one of the greatest dunk contest reaction photos ever taken, KAT is automatically a top-20 bench mobber in the league.
Go-to Move: Balling up his 7-0 frame to be as small as possible.
One of the most emotive faces to ever grace the sideline of a professional basketball game.
Brandon Jennings relishes being on the bench, but he continues to make the most of his situation by stalking the Wizards sideline looking like he can’t decide who on the other he wants to kill and eat first.
Go-to Move: Singling out a rookie in preseason just to get back in the swing of things.
What Kanter lacks in defensive awareness he more than makes up for in bizarre expressions of joy for his teammates in the game.
Go-to Move: Put ball in hoop and see where the night takes you from there.
Sideline celebrations exist solely because of guys like DeAndre Jordan, whose dunks cannot be recognized properly with plain, old off-the-cuff fist pumps.
But DeAndre likes watching dunk-murders as much he enjoys committing them, and judging by his post-dunk bench reactions, the cruelest thing in this world is that DeAndre will never be able to watch himself dunk as it happens.
Go-to Move: 50-tooth grin, stink face of reckoning.
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No longer a player, but still top five dead or alive insufferable bench rider.
Go-to Move: Yelling into the ear of each and every dude who attempts a corner three.
I’ve never been inside Joakim Noah’s brain, but it seems like a world built upon over-the-top aggression and doing whatever feels right in the moment no matter what.
And if you’ve seen Noah weird out on the sidelines with a series of unrelated and ad-libbed hand motions, you know that Joakim gives just as many damns off the court as he does on.
Go-to Move: Three fingers to the dome, holster the gun, eat a real, living bat for nutrients.
The king of slapping hands and a gifted towel-twirler, Kevin Love plays his role as the Cavs’ ritual chair and master of ceremonies during blows on the bench. This man can look at your palm and tell what handshake you should do to maximize "team energy."
Go-to Move: “Sharpening the mustache."
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Long, long ago, in an Eastern Conference blowout far, far away, TNT decided to kill some garbage time by cutting to the Miami bench for an ambiance shot of mopey players on the losing side.
The shot they got, however, was a five-second window in Alonzo Mourning’s soul that saw him transition through all five stages of grief and ultimately come to terms with the futility of the human condition.
Go-to Move: Existential crisis.
They say if you stand outside the Moda Center under the light of the full moon and stay completely still, you can still hear shouts of “Ball Don’t Lie” carrying on the Portland wind.
Go-to Move: Window-shattering “And-one” scream.
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He doesn’t jump as high or run as fast as he once did, but Iggy’s devotion to treating every poster dunk like his first remains an unchanged and integral part of his game.
Go-to Move: Place towel on head, exit gym like the place might collapse.