What’s In a Name?


Air Jordan, His Airness: Michael Jordan

Has there ever been a more iconic name; it represents so much: swagger, cool, and above all, excellence.

The Great One: Wayne Gretzky
Can’t really get a better name than this.

King James: Lebron James.
Biblical, the second coming. This one might gain more importance as Lebron furthers his career.

The Human Highlight Reel: Dominique Wilkins.
Just one look at the cats that Dominique Wilkins posterized, and I understand.

The Answer: Allen Iverson
This one is so complete too. There is a finality to this nickname and it is open ended enough to shut down any conversation. Besides, if you had any doubts about this one, refer to A.I. putting Jordan on skates during his rookie year.

Big Papi: David Ortiz
Ortiz is such a nice guy, so comfortable in his skin, and such an endearing figure, that I have no issue with the culturally tinged name.

The Big Hurt: Frank Thomas
Pretty badass.

He Hate Me: He Hate Me (I can’t remember the guy’s name. Which makes this one even more fitting)

“Iron” Mike: Mike Tyson
“Everyone’s got a plan till I hit ’em”.

Larry Legend: Larry Bird

The Freak: Javon Kearse

Charlie Hustle: Pete Rose
Should have called this dude Double Down.

Todd “Marijuanavich” Marinovich
Pretty shitty to be called this; but better him than me.

Refregirator Perry:

Joe Cool: Joe Montana

Dave “Skywalker” Thompson: If you have a 44 inch vertical, you are a Jedi.

Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. What other body part would work? The Arm?, The Quad?, The Heart? The Penis? The Sternum?

Crappy names:
A-Rod, K-Rod, D-Wayde or any variation of first and last name. CP3 (sounds like a robot, and Chris Paul plays like anything but), K.G. (I like the Big Ticket, though) Starbury (eh…I can’t help but think of red and cherry starbursts) Boobie Gibson (If someone other than my mom called me Boobie, I might punch them), ManRam (sounds like a Ford pick up truck), “GrandMama” (just horrible), The Big Unit (I guess it’s cool to be called that, but I’m not calling another man this shit…if a woman called me the Big Unit, I’d be like “yeah, this round’s on me”.)
PacMan Jones (just don’t like it).


I gotta disagree with some of the names you think are crappy. I think some of the first initial-last name abbreviation names aren’t all that bad. A-Rod was cool when only he had it, but then suddenly everyone started becoming “Rods”. Like people started calling Ivan Rodriguez “I-Rod”. Come on, he’s Pudge. Just Pudge. D-Wayde is cool by me, although I’m down with Flash also. And J-Rich isn’t the most original either, but really, that’s what his dunks felt like when he was with the Warriors.

One of my favorites that I heard recently, Mike Vlasic, defensemen for the Sharks. His teammates call him Pickle.

Eric Byrnes – Captain America. Apparently, he’s a legend in the Latin American Winter Leagues (and he kinda does look like Steve Rogers).

World B. Free – It’s technically not a nickname because Lloyd Bernard Free, a career 20 point scorer through the 70s and 80s, legally changed his name to “World”.

Will “The Thrill” Clark

Jeffery “Hackman” Leonard

Lenny “Nails” Dykstra

Roger “Hmm Baby” Craig (man, the Giants of the 80s had some great names)

“Wild Thing” Mitch Williams

“Nature Boy” Rick Flair – Just once in my life, I’d like to be introduced as “Nature Boy”

Shawn Kemp’s two nicknames: The Manchild and Reign Man

Chee, we discussed this one, Gary “The Glove” Payton is real 1970s throwbackish

“The Admiral” David Robinson – because he actually kinda carried himself that way. Maybe too much so, if you ask a teenage Shaq Diesel.

Eric “Butterbean” Esch

And I actually think Big Unit and ManRam are cool. I especially think it’s funny when Randy Johnson’s teammates just refer to him as “The Unit” in interviews.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – and this is why it’s not hyperbole…


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