The Business of Being a Bench ‘Superman’ in the NBA

December 6th, 2014 by Josh Martin Leave a reply »

Playing in the NBA is a privilege earned by and reserved for only the world's most elite basketball players. Starting is a privilege among the privileged.

But coming off the bench has its perks. For Jamal Crawford—who spent the first nine years of his pro career as a starter before becoming a full-time bench guy for the Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers—spinning that apparent demotion into a prominent promotion made all the difference.

"I was like, 'Okay, well, you've got to be Superman. Superman's coming in to save the day!'" Crawford told Bleacher Report. "It's just something mentally that messed with me that I don't feel like a scrub coming off the bench."

Apparently, playing the part of second-unit hero doesn't appeal to everyone. The league's offseason saw a slew of players much younger than Crawford—most notably Reggie Jackson, Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith—lobby for consideration in their respective squads' starting fives. Each of those three has gotten his wish, in one way or another, so far this season.

"It's hard to play in this league, and it's ...

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