For your pre-weekend entertainment, here’s a list of the funnier nick names given to NBA players along the years, some plain funny and some a bit more nasty and offending towards the player –
We’ll start with those inspired by the best movies of our times –
Action Jackson – Stephen Jackson, Golden State Warriors. Well… he got the name due to the troubles he tends to get into. If it’s the Famous Brawl in Detroit while he played for Indiana or his tendency to get in trouble with law – he’s been charged with assault, disorderly conduct, and two counts of battery in past 3 years alone.
Funny thing is, he isn’t the only one to be nicknamed after a movie character portrayed by Carl Weathers. Arron Afflalo, a former UCLA star and currently a bench player for the Detroit Pistons got the nickname Afflalo Creed, after the character played by Weathers in the Rocky Franchise through Rocky I to IV. Know the name? He was The Master of Disaster, The King of Sting, The Count of Monte Fisto, Apollo Creed, sadly killed by Ivan Drago.
Dirk Nowitzki, the 2007 League MVP carries a few nicknames with him but the best is undoubtedly The Diggler, after the main character from “Boogie Nights”, Dirk Diggler. Sam Cassel got a less flattering comparison to an on-screen character: Charles Barkley called him Gollum, the pretty character from Lord of the Rings.
Barkley is also responsible for the Tim Duncan nickname, Groundhog Day, the movie that is. He meant, if you haven’t guessed by now – everything repeats itself with Duncan, not that it’s a bad or something like that.
Back to Boogie Nights or to be more exact – Porn. Corey Maggette, currently with the Golden State warriors got nicknamed by fans – Bad Porn, as in “sure, there’s penetrating and scoring, but are you really happy with what you are seeing?” Genius whoever came up with that one.
Jerome James, who is signed with the Chicago Bulls but doesn’t get to play for them is labeled as one of the worst free agents signings of all-time (Isiah Thomas is responsible for that). He got 30 million dollars for 5 years from the Knicks, but never scored more than 3 points per game for them. The fact the he gained and is gaining more weight as we speak got him named Big Snacks.
What do Brian Scalabrine and Darko Milicic have in common? They both spent a lot of time on the bench for championship teams. Scalabrine won it last year with the Celtics, earning the Boston Celtic Mascot nick, while Milicic, on his way to becoming a major Draft Bust got nicknamed – The Human Victory Cigar, for getting up from the bench only when the team was winning. He won it with Detroit back in 2004.
Now for champions who had a lot to with their team winning it, and having nicknames for similar reasons. Dwayne Wade, NBA Champion with the Miami Heat in 2006 (Seems like a decade ago, no?) got a lot of respect, maybe too much from the refs in that series. He got also the nickname D-Whistle, a play on his more common nickname, D-Wade.Manu Ginobili, Champion with the San Antonio Spurs 3 times got the shorter, Flop, for his alleged constant flopping.
Dikembe Mutombo got a funny nickname, playing on his own name – Defende Reboundo. Finally, a nickname with intention of describing good play instead of bad. Another “Good” nickname is the one given to the Knicks (yes, some good does exist there) player, David Lee. His rebounding numbers being impressive and close to those of the Rebound King, Dwight Howard got him the nickname – DaWhite Howard. Get it? He’s white? DaWhite? never mind…
There are those who get nicknamed for their ability to get injured constantly, a truly magnificent ability. It allows you to get the same money for less work, a blue collar and actually every working man’s dream. Vince Carter holds a lot of nicknames, one of them is Half Man, Half Amazing. There’s also Half Man, Half Season. Pervis Ellison, once a number one Draft pick and maybe the biggest Draft bust of all time has his own nickname for being injury prone- Out of Service Pervis.
Hang tight, we’re reaching the Grand Finale. Chris Bosh has the CB4 nickname, initials and numbers, not funny. But he has a less famous one – The RuPaul of Bigmen, courtesy of Shaquille O’neal during an exchange of words across the media between the two. And here it is…
The Best nickname was given by Don Nelson, head coach of Golden State Warriors to Lithuanian Sarunas Jasikevicius who is back in Europe the past two seasons. Nelson couldn’t pronounce the name of his Point Guard, so instead of calling him by his career long nickname, used in every country he’s played in, Saras, what did Nelson call him – Jazzy Cabbages. That’s a rap.