Nicknames are hard, you guys. Even “Durantula,” a seemingly perfect nickname that was popularized by a Canadian basketball podcast, has encountered way more trouble than necessary. For whatever reason, coming up with a new something something to call a player for the rest of his career is almost impossible.
That’s why it’s understandable that Kevin Garnett would just call everybody “Youngin,” since realizing rookies are younger than him is way easier than putting any thought to actual nickitynames. Plus, as it turns out, he actually has reasons for calling everyone the same thing and even a few real nicknames with real reasons behind them. From the AP:
Jared Sullinger is “Sully.”
Dionte Christmas is “Temple,” because that’s where he went to college.
And Kevin Garnett calls Fab Melo “Melo” because “I don’t like really calling a man ‘Fab.’ ” [...]
“My personal connection is a nickname. I’m not disrespecting people by not knowing their names,” Garnett said. “Some people don’t even talk to rookies.”
OK, fair enough. At least he recognizes that these guys are real people, even if he doesn’t go to the trouble of knowing their names. And I guess it is weird calling another man “Fab” if you are 12 years old and/or completely deny the existence of the Fab Five or the Beatles or the drummer from The Strokes, so all of this makes sense.
And really, so does this.
“Most of the time, it’s just ‘Young’un,’ ” Sullinger said. “Knowing that he’s an NBA dinosaur, you’ve got to understand that being a ‘young’un’ is a good thing.”
I can’t believe that I am actually on Kevin Garnett’s side on this “Calling everyone Youngin” thing, but there is a strong case to be made that since KG has played 17 seasons, calling everyone Youngin is both a compliment and the easiest thing to do. I’m sold and I can’t imagine him coming up with a nickname that would ruin that.
Sullinger and Melo were first-round draft picks, with Kris Joseph coming in the second round. (Garnett calls Joseph “Shawn,” Christmas said, “because he reminds him of someone named Shawn.”)
Well, I’m back to not getting Kevin Garnett’s nicknames. “Shawn” because some guy looks like someone named Shawn? That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. It’s super funny and maybe my favorite new nickname in the NBA, but that doesn’t mean it makes any sense.
Understanding what was going through Kevin Garnett’s head was fun while it lasted, but I think we all knew it couldn’t last. Don’t worry about it though, because it’s pretty obvious that Kris Joseph looks more like a “Greg” anyways.