Wait, did four prominent members of the Warriors actually travel to a relatively unheralded city in southeastern Virginia to woo Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016? And here we were thinking that Durant had used some of his $100 million or so in career earnings to camp out much further north, in a region legendary for being a playground of the rich and famous.
The cause of this confusion (okay, snark) arrived Thursday, with news that Draymond Green has been applying for a trademark on the increasingly popular nickname for a quintet of Golden State stars, including himself and Durant, plus Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala: the “Hampton 5.”
Oh, wait, that should be the “Hamptons 5,” as in, you know, The Hamptons, the tony section of eastern Long Island where the elite meet to dip their feet in sand and surf. That is, in fact, where Durant rented a house — now on sale for just $15 million! — at which the former Thunder all-star received free agency pitches.
However, it would appear from a TMZ Sports report, one subsequently confirmed by the San Francisco Chronicle, that Green is going with “Hampton 5.” According to TMZ, the versatile forward plans to slap that phrase on “everything from sports drinks to gym bags, cell phone cases, headphones, comic books, athletic wear and educational tools.”
Well, here’s hoping that drives just a little bit of tourism, accidental or not, to Hampton, Va., or perhaps to any of the over two dozen other places in the U.S. named “Hampton.” Heaven knows, The Hamptons doesn’t need the publicity.
Is Green maybe a bit confused because, somewhere in the back of his mind, he’s thinking of the Jackson 5? After all, the logic could be that if they were the Jacksons, but made sweet music as the Jackson 5, perhaps a similar linguistic dynamic makes sense with The Hamptons.
Or perhaps not, but in any event, it’s a sign that the nickname, either in singular or plural form, is not going away. Even Warriors Coach Steve Kerr acknowledged that reality, after using the quintet to start a playoff game earlier this month against the Pelicans, rather than bringing Iguodala off the bench in his usual role as the team’s sixth man.
At a postgame news conference, after the gambit proved very successful, Kerr said, “I feel strange as a coach saying, ‘Well, the Hamptons 5 played really well tonight.’ ” Motioning to the assembled reporters, Kerr added with a smile, “I can’t say that, but you can.”
Kerr gave credit, accurately, to longtime Bay Area sports columnist Tim Kawakami for getting the nickname off the ground. Kawakami, now with The Athletic, began referring to the group that way soon after Durant joined the Warriors, but it took some time to penetrate the national consciousness.
The moniker is a handy way to denote Durant’s arrival on the team, and it has a much more fun quality to it than the “Death Lineup.” That was widely used to refer to a small-ball unit, with former Warrior Harrison Barnes instead of Durant, that Golden State frequently unleashed at the end of halves to decimate opponents.
Some Warriors fans feel that “Death Lineup” should still be used, as not all of the team’s supporters are enamored with the ascent of “Hamptons 5.” However, Green’s trademark application shows that he certainly is cool with it, or at least a version of it that may remind some folks of that time they visited Colonial Williamsburg.
Of course, if Green, Curry, Thompson and Iguodala had journeyed forth to lure Allen Iverson to their team, “Hampton 5″ would have made plenty of sense, as they may well have found the former 76ers great in his Virginia hometown. Hey, is it too late to make that happen? An extremely small-ball lineup with him and the other four probably wouldn’t be as deathly to opponents, but it sure would be fun to watch.
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