Good news, everyone: Dario Saric is officially a thing. Maybe it's still a minute too early to be celebrating — the ink is not physically on the paper, and Dario's sneaks are not yet physically on the not-WFC floor — but David "International Woj" Pick reports that the Colangelos will work out a buyout with Saric's Turkish club and sign him this Friday. It's a legitimate-enough report that it's now OK to start talking about Saric as an actual part of the Sixers organization moving forward.
There's a lot of stuff to talk about regarding Dario's upcoming rookie season in the City of Brotherly Love — what position will he play, how does he fit among the Sixers' glut of big men, what player gets squeezed of the roster by his presence — but I'm not concerned with any of that yet. The only thing I really care about right now is coming up with a nickname for Philly's troika of high-profile incoming freshmen, the most exciting single-team rookie class in recent NBA memory.
I asked the question over Twitter last night, and while I'm not ready to settle 100% on anything yet, of the dozens of responses I got, these are the ten that I'm most encouraged by. Honorable mention to Winter Is Here, Spaceman 3 (and its too-real alternate proposal, No Spacemen-3), The New Tang Clan, the Hinkie Foundation, Sully/The Aviators/The Blue Angels/The Plane Landers, United Nations, the Process Bosses, The Hink 3/ThreeSam Mafia/The Sam Hinkie Trio/The Three Horsemen of Hinkie, #Lickface Killahs, and so many more. Thanks to everyone who submitted, and please keep the suggestions coming, in the comments section here and/or in my Twitter mentions at @augetoffmygold. This affects all of us, dudes.
10. International Players Anthem (suggested by Brian Coulter)
A lot of people tried to go the international route with their suggestions, but none of them were quite the right combination of catchy, distinctive, and not-potentially-offensive for my tastes. The closest was this suggestion of a reference to the beloved UGK and Outkast song, and while I'd be OK with this playing over player intros, the "Anthem" part is a little too far of a stretch as the noun in a collective nickname. (Also, tbh — always though that song was kinda overrated.)
9. The Block NESS Monster (suggested by Eric Tung)
Major points for creativity here, with the NESS acronym represnting Noel, Embiid, Simmons, and Saric. However, as a third-year player, Nerlens isn't really included in this, and if he was, Jahlil would probably have to be too — not to mention that we're not sure which of the two are even gonna be on the team next year at the moment. (And Saric's half-a-block a game averages in the Euroleague doesn't exactly properly qualify him for such monstrous designations — even Robert Covington averaged more last year.)
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8. Three Men and a Maybe (suggested by ZooWithRoy and Stan Podolak)
Not sure if the "maybe" here refers to the possible presence of Okafor and/or Noel alongside them, or just the fact that we'll never feel totally secure in Joel Embiid's health, but it kinda works either way. Still, a little more negative/hesitant than I'd prefer for this nickname — there'll always be questions surrounding this trio on the Sixers, but let's try not to staple any to them too permanently like this.
7. Prestige Worldwide (suggested by Sohil D. and Stan Podolak)
A slightly more clever turn in the international direction, and perhaps even better than I'm giving it credit for, but it feels a couple inches too obscure and I was never really a Step Brothers guy anyway.
6. Trust Company/The TTP 3 (suggested by Blake Murphy and Ben Klein, respectively)
I like the idea of keeping Trust the Process alive through Sam Hinkie's marquee trio. "The TTP 3" is the simplest and most direct, but perhaps a shade artless, while Trust Company is a lot more fun, but maybe only for those inside the small space connecting the Venn Diagram of Rights to Ricky Sanchez listeners and recovering nu-metalheads.
5. Philadelphia Threeway (suggested by Xylon Dimoff)
A rock-solid suggestion — hell, play "What We Do" at every Sixers game forever (Dario is definitely Beans) but perhaps one a mite too suggestive to make it into Marc and Alaa's regular parlance. Like MJ guarding AI, gotta keep one eye out for the crossover here.
4. Sam's Club (suggested by Bryce Luwawu)
Beautiful, though not my favorite suggestion related to Our Once and Always Dark Lord — the "club" part will always feel the littlest bit strange referring to just a three-man unit rather than the entire varsity squad. Still, the fake gift cards and name tags would be tremendous promotional opportunities, and these are important considerations.
3. The Orchard (suggested by JBlevins, Hank Zimmerman, and Hoop76)
It's what we've been growing all along, right? It only makes sense that the fruit of Hinkie's seed-sowing should get the full-bloom nickname it deserves. But it's a little esoteric for an NBA nickname, and would require Primer levels of explanation for anyone unfamiliar with the reference, so it's maybe still not the best we can do.
2. 21' Jump Street (suggested by Dan Mannella)
Truthfully, this was the only nickname suggested that actually stopped me in my tracks and made me say "Oh." It works pretty damn well — the reference is fun and culturally enduring, our three new bigs do add up to almost exactly 21 feet, and assuming all six of their feet continue working in the regular season, jumping should a big part of the trio's Broad Street existence. My lone holdup with this, though, and the main reason it's not number one, is that it just works better as a visual nickname than an audible one. "Twenty-one-foot Jump Street" just won't have the same resonance on Sixers broadcasts that "21' Jump Street" will in blog posts. A valuable tool for us who are going to spend far too many words writing about the Sixers this upcoming regular season, but probably not one that will survive extended IRL discussion.
1. Sons of Sam (suggested by Matt Brancato and Buddha)
Almost too easy, but maybe just right. Hinkie certainly deserves to be part of the nickname, the reference is easily understood and easily translated to the players it represents, and it should both roll of the tongue during out-loud Sixers debates and make for some damn solid puns in article headlines. The only quibbles to be had are that it's missing a little bit of that Wow Factor — no one's gonna be stopped in their tracks by Sons of Sam — and that it maybe dips a toe too many into Red Sox territory. For now, though, it's leader in the clubhouse. Luckily, only three-and-a-half months left to beat it.