According to everything I’ve ever seen, Ekpe Udoh’s nickname is “The Nightmare.” It’s pretty great, especially if you consider it an homage to Christian Okoye, who shares Nigerian heritage with Udoh and was nicknamed “The Nigerian Nightmare” way back when he was dominating “Super Tecmo Bowl.” Even though he kinda gave himself the nickname, it’s fantastic. No need for a change.
But that’s not stopping his coach, Keith Smart, from trying a few things on for size. After all, why shouldn’t a guy have more than one nickname? From the San Francisco Chronicle:
“The guy is a defensive glue magnet,” Smart said. “He knows when there is trouble. We use the term ‘traffic cop.’ A traffic cop doesn’t just see the problem at the light. He sees the problem far ahead with the other cars coming.”
Of the two, I’m hoping “Defensive Glue Magnet” sticks because that sounds like what happens when guys get Asian character tattoos that don’t mean what they thought they meant. It actually makes sense, but it’s really weird sounding and esoteric and we haven’t had anything like that since Bruce “Syringe Palms” Bowen never caught on. Consider me Team Defensive Glue Magnet.
That being said, “The Traffic Cop” is a really good nickname. You can put it on a 90s-style poster in neon and Udoh in a police officer’s uniform and sell thousands of copies to young Warriors fans in the Bay Area. Sure, Olden Polynice would be supremely jealous but it’d really work. Like Stan Van Gundy with the MVP race, I’ll have no problem at all if “The Traffic Cop” wins this very important nickname race.