Let's face it. Nobody wants to come off the bench.
Not that being a bench player is demeaning or anything. It's just that you're not a starter. You're not introduced to a roaring crowd game in and game out, you're not allowed to have a sweet pregame ritual to get the crazed fans even more excited and you're not gonna sell as many jerseys.
Yet, a solid bench is one of the most important benchmarks (no pun intended) of any successful team. Without a cast of able contributors ready to relieve a team's starters, it is nearly impossible for a squad to contend for a championship, no matter how talented their starting cast of characters may be (I'm looking at you, LeBron, Wade and Bosh).
For a well rounded team, bench players cannot assume the role of nervous, hesitant backup quarterback who is ultimately unable to gain his team's trust. Rather, his insertion into the lineup must be either: a) unnoticed, representing the smoothness of the substitution, or b) marked with an exclamation point, as the spark provided by the fresh legs provides an intangible not present amongst any of the starters.
With that, let's take a look at the league's top benches. Some contenders, some aspiring to achieve that title, all of these teams need their benches like a big time Wall Street executive needs his Blackberry.