On a recent TBJ podcast, the guys were debating nicknames for Kyrie Irving. I liked “Video Games,” and “Dr. K” had a certain panache to it, but the answer that I was inwardly screaming out while listening along on a crowded N train was one they eventually arrived at — the guy doesn’t need a nickname, his friggin’ name is Kyrie Irving. That’s a seriously great name, and the NBA is full of such players. Thinking about this for a minute, I quickly realized it would only be a matter of time until I attempted to rank every NBA player by how good their name was.

So I did that. How’d I do it? Well, assuming you’re more interested in hearing my criteria for ranking one NBA name over the other than hearing about the mechanics of my Google spreadsheeting, here were the basic guiding principles I used for doing it:

1. How much fun is your name to say or read? Obviously, this is gonna be the first and foremost qualification here. If you don’t understand fairly intuitively why Danilo Gallinari ranks higher than Daniel Orton, maybe this isn’t the list for you.

2. How much does your name ring out in the NBA? Has your name reached iconic status, almost apart from your qualifications as a player? Are you instantly recognizable by either your first or last name? Big plus if so.

3. How much does your name color our perception of you as an NBA player? Would we view you as a lesser or greater player with a different name? For instance, if Richard Jefferson swapped names with O.J. Mayo, I think we’d be a lot more interested in RJ as a player and a whole lot less interested in O.J.’s career.

4. How close does your name match your style as a player? Does your name fit, basically? If you’re a bruising rebounder and post player, do you have a tough-sounding name? If you’re a smooth playmaker and a decisive cutter to the basket, is your name flashy and movie star-ish? This is important.

5. Is your name distinctive? This is the most important baseline qualification to ranking high on this list. If your name sounds like it could be a name shared by thousands of other North Americans, then that’s not a good thing. Unless, of course, that anonymity fits into your style of play. This is called the Joe Johnson Corollary.

6. If you have a well-circulated nickname, does that enhance or diminish your actual name? For instance, Nick Young’s nickname of Swaggy P is so perfect and pervasive that it renders his real name virutally irrelevant, whereas the fact that JaVale McGee occasionally refers to himself as Pierre just makes the fact that his real name is JaVale McGee even more incredible.

7. How much do I like your name for no particular reason? Can I really explain why I like Ekpe Udoh’s name so much more than Beno Udrih’s? Probably not. A lot of times, I just had to go with my gut.

And it’d be naive of me to pretend that this list isn’t hugely influenced by how good and interesting the players themselves are. The name on your birth certificate might read Smoothness Aparicio, but if you’re only getting the garbagest of garbage time for the Sacramento Kings, I’m still probably not gonna find room for you in my top 75. Conversely, players given a great deal of exposure have had a surplus of opportunity for their names to start to make sense to me, and to be given added meaning from how much I know of them as players and personalities. That’s not to say that it’s all All-Stars towards the top or scrubs towards the bottom. But generally on this list, being notable helps. Unfair perhaps, but that’s just how I see it. (I also tried not to overvalue names with funny pronunciations or spellings, though of course it played a part.)

As for how I came up with the list of players to work with, I took the 500 players that made ESPN’s NBA Player Rankings over the summer, then removed the 74 players who did not play this year due to retirement or inability to land PT with any team, and ranked from there. Consequently, a couple players who did not appear likely in the early offseason to be NBA entities in the season to come are missing from the list — perhaps most notably, Rasheed Wallace, who likely would have ranked in the top 20 were he included. (Sorry, ‘Sheed.) I also tried to use the exact names listed for each player on the ESPN ranking as the name I evaluated, in the case of certain players (Mike Conley, Richard Hamilton, Perry Jones) who sometimes see their names listed in different ways.

Finally, due to the gargantuan nature of this list, I did not bother providing written explanations for any of my ranked choices. However, should you have any inquiries as to why I ranked a certain player as I did, I would be happy to answer all of them, within reason, in the comments section or on Twitter. Or just let me know your own Top Whatever lists, that’d be cool too.

And now, the list:

426    James Jones
425    James Johnson
424    Rodney Stuckey
423    George Hill
422    Daniel Gibson
421    Chris Andersen
420   Martell Webster
419    Mike James
418    Kevin Murphy
417    Mike Scott
416    Will Barton
415    Quincy Miller
414    Gerald Henderson
413    Marvin Williams
412    Mario Chalmers
411    James Anderson
410    Jeffrey Taylor
409    Darius Morris
408    James White
407    Orlando Johnson
406    Gerald Green
405    Ed Davis
404    Kent Bazemore
403    Greg Smith
402    Lance Thomas
401    Darius Miller
400    Earl Watson
399    Richard Jefferson
398    Donald Sloan
397    John Jenkins
396    Charles Jenkins
395    Mike Conley
394    Terrence Jones
393    Reggie Williams
392    John Salmons
391    Amir Johnson
390    Richard Hamilton
389    Elliot Williams
388    Josh Harrellson
387    Glen Davis
386    Mo Williams
385    Aaron Brooks
384    Jason Richardson
383    Jeremy Pargo
382    Ryan Hollins
381    Nolan Smith
380    Sam Young
379    Lou Williams
378    John Henson
377    Malcolm Lee
376    DeMarre Carroll
375    Sasha Pavlovic
374    Damion James
373    Daniel Orton
372    Willie Green
371    Jason Collins
370    Jordan Hamilton
369    Ryan Anderson
368    Jodie Meeks
367    Wayne Ellington
366    DeSagana Diop
365    Anthony Davis
364    Francisco Garcia
363    Charlie Villanueva
362    Dominique Jones
361    Tobias Harris
360    Jeremy Evans
359    Chris Wilcox
358    Ben Gordon
357    Cory Higgins
356    Kendall Marshall
355    Jeff Pendergraph
354    Johan Petro
353    Damien Wilkins
352    Wesley Johnson
351    Jason Smith
350    Kevin Martin
349    Matt Carroll
348    Gary Neal
347    Roy Hibbert
346    Jannero Pargo
345    Shaun Livingston
344    Kirk Hinrich
343    Mike Dunleavy
342    Brandan Wright
341    Chris Duhon
340    Kris Humphries
339    Marcus Morris
338    Jared Cunningham
337    David Lee
336    Greg Monroe
335    Udonis Haslem
334    AJ Price
333    Al Jefferson
332    Alan Anderson
331    Ronnie Price
330    Troy Murphy
329    Bernard James
328    Terrence Ross
327    Thomas Robinson
326    Anthony Randolph
325    Cory Joseph
324    Arnett Moultrie
323    Chris Singleton
322    Carl Landry
321    Marc Gasol
320    Terrel Harris
319    Byron Mullens
318    Ramon Sessions
317    Marcus Thornton
316    Beno Udrih
315    Thaddeus Young
314    Darrell Arthur
313    John Lucas III
312    Chris Kaman
311    Josh Smith
310    Lazar Hayward
309    Dominic McGuire
308    Marquis Daniels
307    Trevor Booker
306    Steve Blake
305    Al Horford
304    Perry Jones
303    Daequan Cook
302    Jon Leuer
301    Andrew Nicholson
300    Zach Randolph
299    Drew Gooden
298    Jason Thompson
297    Anthony Tolliver
296    Norris Cole
295    Julyan Stone
294    Jeff Green
293    Joel Anthony
292    Shannon Brown
291    Landry Fields
290    Rashard Lewis
289    Steve Novak
288    Grant Hill
287    Dante Cunningham
286    Lavoy Allen
285    Jared Jeffries
284    Kurt Thomas
283    Samuel Dalembert
282    Tony Parker
281    Cartier Martin
280    Cole Aldrich
279    Eddy Curry
278    Khris Middleton
277    Eric Maynor
276    Kris Joseph
275    Nick Young
274    Luke Walton
273    Earl Clark
272    Greg Stiemsma
271    Linas Kleiza
270    Patrick Patterson
269    Jeremy Tyler
268    Bradly Beal
267    Jameer Nelson
266    Victor Claver
265    Josh Selby
264    DeAndre Liggins
263    Al Harrington
262    Derrick Williams
261    Kendrick Perkins
260    Luis Scola
259    CJ Watson
258    Dexter Pittman
257    Dorell Wright
256    Carlos Delfino
255    Robert Sacre
254    Paul Millsap
253    Kim English
252    Ronny Turiaf
251    Gordon Hayward
250    Luke Ridnour
249    Travis Outlaw
248    Stephen Jackson
247    E’Twaun Moore
246    Jan Vesely
245    Jonas Jerebko
244    Ronnie Brewer
243    Tyler Zeller
242    Doron Lamb
241    Mickael Pietrus
240    Nikola Vucevic
239    Patty Mills
238    Danny Green
237    Jared Dudley
236    Mike Miller
235    Dwight Howard
234    Aaron Gray
233    Josh Howard
232    LaMarcus Aldridge
231    Anthony Morrow
230    Devin Ebanks
229    Elton Brand
228    Raymond Felton
227    Jeremy Lamb
226    Tornike Shengelia
225    Vladimir Radmanovic
224    Jordan Hill
223    Matt Barnes
222    Isaiah Thomas
221    Jason Maxiell
220    Miles Plumlee
219    Jamaal Tinsley
218    DeAndre Jordan
217    Tyler Honeycutt
216    Kevin Seraphin
215    Samardo Samuels
214    Tyrus Thomas
213    Josh McRoberts
212    Hakim Warrick
211    Gerald Wallace
210    Derek Fisher
209    John Wall
208    Will Bynum
207    Matt Bonner
206    Xavier Henry
205    Michael Beasley
204    Wilson Chandler
203    Jonas Valanciunas
202    Eric Gordon
201    Evan Turner
200    Kyle O’Quinn
199    Alonzo Gee
198    Avery Bradley
197    CJ Miles
196    Leandro Barbosa
195    Andris Biedrins
194    Meyers Leonard
193    Dahntay Jones
192    Chuck Hayes
191    Wesley Matthews
190    Devin Harris
189    James Harden
188    Shelvin Mack
187    Damien Lillard
186    Luke Babbitt
185    Quincy Pondexter
184    DJ Augustin
183    Spencer Hawes
182    Mirza Teletovic
181    Jordan Crawford
180    Enes Kanter
179    Jeff Teague
178    Evan Fournier
177    Joel Przybilla
176    Brendan Haywood
175    Brandon Rush
174    Reggie Jackson
173    Larry Sanders
172    Austin Daye
171    Ekpe Udoh
170    Marco Belinelli
169    Andrew Bynum
168    Kyle Singler
167    Donatas Motiejunas
166    Nate Robinson
165    Carlos Boozer
164    Royal Ivey
163    Chris Paul
162    Jamal Crawford
161    Randy Foye
160    Tyshawn Taylor
159    Brandon Knight
158    Sebastian Telfair
157    Danny Granger
156    Corey Maggette
155    Russell Westbrook
154    DeJuan Blair
153    Jose Juan Barea
152    Alec Burks
151    Lance Stephenson
150    Chase Budinger
149    Josh Childress
148    Marquis Teague
147    Louis Amundson
146    Brandon Bass
145    Marreese Speights
144    Thabo Sefolosha
143    Draymond Green
142    Tristan Thompson
141    Channing Frye
140    Hamed Haddadi
139    Omri Casspi
138    Nazr Mohammed
137    Vince Carter
136    Andrew Bogut
135    Markieff Morris
134    Courtney Lee
133    Tony Allen
132    Festus Ezeli
131    JJ Hickson
130    Nicolas Batum
129    Austin Rivers
128    David West
127    Jason Terry
126    Quincy Acy
125    Jerryd Bayless
124    Klay Thompson
123    Monta Ellis
122    Jared Sullinger
121    Corey Brewer
120    Moe Harkless
119    Jose Calderon
118    Trevor Ariza
117    Ishmael Smith
116    Deron Williams
115    Timofey Mozgov
114    Lamar Odom
113    Eric Bledsoe
112    Gustavo Ayon
111    Pau Gasol
110    Al-Farouq Aminu
109    Hedo Turkoglu
108    Toney Douglas
107    Kosta Koufos
106    MarShon Brooks
105    Ty Lawson
104    Emeka Okafor
103    Kevin Garnett
102    Tayshaun Prince
101    Boris Diaw
100    Andre Miller
99    Andre Iguodala
98    Kenneth Faried
97    Harrison Barnes
96    Omir Asik
95    Blake Griffin
94    Derrick Favors
93    Ian Mahinmi
92    Taj Gibson
91    Tyler Hansbrough
90    Reggie Evans
89    Marcin Gortat
88    Kyle Korver
87    DeShawn Stevenson
86    Tim Duncan
85    Jerry Stackhouse
84    Jarrett Jack
83    Chauncey Billups
82    Kyle Lowry
81    Marcus Camby
80    Ivan Johnson
79    Andrea Bargnani
78    Alexey Shved
77    Arron Afflalo
76    Tyreke Evans
75    Fab Melo
74    Tiago Splitter
73    Kwame Brown
72    Nick Collison
71    Darren Collison
70    Jeremy Lin
69    Brook Lopez
68    Robin Lopez
67    Goran Dragic
66    Nene
65    Paul Pierce
64    Pablo Prigioni
63    Chandler Parsons
62    JJ Redick
61    Nikola Pekovic
60    Anderson Varejao
59    Rodrigue Beaubois
58    Tony Wroten
57    Shawn Marion
56    Hasheem Thabeet
55    Luol Deng
54    Dion Waiters
53    Ray Allen
52    Kevin Love
51    Kemba Walker
50    Tyson Chandler
49    Andre Drummond
48    Jimmy Butler
47    Shane Battier
46    Stephen Curry
45    Chris Bosh
44    J.R. Smith
43    Jae Crowder
42    Steve Nash
41    Paul George
40    Serge Ibaka
39    Caron Butler
38    Zaza Pachulia
37    Jason Kidd
36    Antawn Jamison
35    Ersan Ilyasova
34    Kawhi Leonard
33    Rudy Gay
32    Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
31    DeMar DeRozan
30    Andrei Kirilenko
29    Kevin Durant
28    Iman Shumpert
27    Andray Blatche
26    Brandon Jennings
25    Danilo Gallinari
24    Greivis Vasquez
23    Bismack Biyombo
22    Brandon Roy
21    Amar’e Stoudemire
20    Joakim Noah
19    Manu Ginobili
18    Dirk Nowitzki
17    DeMarcus Cousins
16    Jimmer Fredette
15    Joe Johnson
14    Kyrie Irving
13    Derrick Rose
12    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
11    Dwyane Wade
10    Jrue Holiday
9    OJ Mayo
8    Darko Milicic
7    JaVale McGee
6    LeBron James
5    Metta World Peace
4    Rajon Rondo
3    Ricky Rubio
2    Carmelo Anthony
1    Kobe Bryant

Comments (117)

  1. I dont care how you came up with this vote, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is the best name in the NBA.

  2. 425 James Johnson
    15 Joe Johnson

    Thabo Sefelosha is my favourite name in the NBA.

  3. eeeaaaammaaahhnnn SHUMpert!

  4. This must have taken a while.. good work Trey!

  5. johan petro, kirk hinrich and chris wilcox deserved to be higher

    johan petro, other than his peers with russian-y names, sounds like a KGB-agent-james-bond-villiany type

    kirk hinrich makes me think of captain kirk, which is way cooler than thinking of kirk hinrich when thinking of kirk hinrich. not many players names have that ability

    chris wilcox, because I have the mind of a 12 year old and cox

    other than that a great list and congrats on finding a way of spending your time on stuff like that and maintaining a comfortable living standard ;)

    • Kirk Hinrich only works with the “Captain” nickname, and I tried not to let assumed nicknames influence the ranking.

      Fair point on Johan and Wilcox.

  6. I knew it, I just knew Kobe will be number 1 scrolling insanely fast down the list, can’t argue with that. As for the other names, not bad at all, but everyone would obviously have different criteria and taste. Fun idea :)

    P.S. I scrolled so fast I hit the bottom of the page, my eyes felt that.

  7. Juan Jose Barea is wayyyy too low!

    Rubio should be #1

    • This was one where the ESPN listing really hurt it. “JJ Barea” would be in the top 50 for sure, “Jose Juan,” not quite.

  8. Damnit, I just proved to myself why JJ Barea is so low.

  9. Quincy Miller is a good name. Regardless of talent, it’s a cool name.

    2 reasons. He shares a surname with a brand of beer and also Andre Miller.
    His first name is Quincy. Simple

  10. Kobe Bryant is a good choice because it depends on if you’re saying it or if Charles Barkley is saying it.


  11. Good. List!!!!!!!!!

  12. DeSagana Diop is far too low. Should be top ten.

  13. how is joe johnson #15?

    • Joe Johnson has the perfect name for his style of play and what people think of him. He’s just kind of there, producing statistics while being anonymous. An anonymous guy like him deserves a truly basic name. That’s why he’s so high.

  14. Arron Afflalo was robbed. Top 10 for alliteration alone.

    • Yes, one of my immediate thoughts upon further reflection was that Afflalo’s ranking was far too low.

    • Not to nerd up the joint, but his name is an example of assonance, not alliteration since A is a vowel and alliteration only applies to consonant sounds.

      Public school, bitches.

  15. How is Joe Johnson so high??????? This makes no sense

  16. Vasquez is an underrated name

  17. fab melo outside of the top 20 is a travesty.

    • For what it’s worth, he’s by far the highest-ranked of any player who basically hasn’t played at all this (or any other) year.

  18. It’s interesting that the best names are also some of the best players. Is their name great, because we think they are great? Or does giving your kid a great name help inspire them towards greatness?

  19. Nandooooo De Colooooooooo

  20. In Australia we would rank anyone named Quincy much higher than 415.

    Quincy is such a great name.

    My fav name to say is Marcin Gortart – super fun to say in a fake announcer voice.

    Roddy Beaubois is also fun.

    Love this list

    • I now want to hear Leigh say, “MARCIIIIIIIN GOOOOORTAAAAAAAT!” as if he’s announcing the starting lineups.

  21. Fab Melo. His name is Fab. Melo.

  22. My criteria:

    How happy would you be naming your son after them?

    Man #1: my son is called Dwight.
    Man #2: after Dwight Howard? He’s a pussy. Poor kid.
    Man #1: why? What’s your son called then?
    Man #2: well, my oldest is called Kenneth…
    Man #1: that’s an old mans name!
    Man #2: …named after Kenneth Faried.
    Man #1: ah, that’s pretty cool.
    Man #2: and my youngest is called Kyrie.
    Man #1: oh damn, you’re right. My son’s name sucks!

    • I was introduced to a 4 year old named “LeBron” last weekend. I know it’s very “Cool story, bro” but it was quite surreal.

  23. Pau Gasol that low is a travesty. I mean, PAU.
    c’mon man

    • Had Pau been an Andre Drummond-like, he definitely would be worth a Pau/Pow. But kinda doesn’t fit as it is.

  24. tim duncan. hes not a known for jammin’ but his last name is freaking DUNCAN

    • It’s a good, simple name, and fits his style well, but for a lesser player I don’t think we give it a second glance. And even if “Duncan” does sound like “dunking” (which to be honest I’d never considered), that doesn’t exactly fit his personality.

  25. Bismack Biyombo…tell me that guy has a nickname.

  26. Man #3: my son’s name is Fab Melo. I win

  27. Greatest NBA name of all time?

    World B. Free

  28. Joe Johnson at 15?

    Sir, what kind of crack do you smoke?

    • There is no player name on this list nearly so technically accurate as “Joe Johnson.” For that I think #15 is a fair ranking.

    • Only the finest of course, how about you? Are we comparing our crack stashes now?

      Anyways, good list. Too bad Demar DeRozan is such a dull person or he would be much higher on this list, his name has such personality, what a waste

  29. too much time on your hands

  30. It’s Damian Lillard…. not Damien… come on TBJ. Just for that he should move up a few spots.

  31. i cant believe thescore pays you to do this shit….

  32. Andrea Bargnani is my favourite name to say out loud.

  33. I’m not even a fan of Rodney Stuckey, but seriously, try and say his name 3 times fast without laughing. You’ll just wanna say it over and over.. “Rodney Stuckey, Rodney Stuckey, Rodney Stuckey!”

    • Hurt significantly by the Pistons announcer’s shrieking call of “Roooodddneyyyy STUCKEY!! (STUCKEY!! STUCKEY!!)” at the Palace.

      Also, I hate everything about the guy.

      • Ahhh, very true. I just think he should be a top 100 name. Just a hilarious sounding first-last name combination

  34. This is awsome. But I’ve no idea how Jimmy Butler got listed ahead of this guy:

    • Maybe some recency bias here, I’ve been crushing on all things Jimmy Butler pretty hard lately.

    • My top five is by the way:

      Rodrigue Beaubois
      JaVale McGee
      Rajon Rondo
      O.J. Mayo
      Joe Johnson (Joe Johnson is hillarious, because it’s almost too normal to be true. Sounds like a anonymous murder victim from a CSI)

  35. I like Kevin Love for the same reasons I like Derrick Rose. It just sounds like a made-up character. Plus for a guy who’s personal aesthetic basically seems to be White Guy New Jack Swing, his look and name are a perfect fit.

  36. Chris Wilcox is a great name, also Tim Duncan should be a little higher, but thats just my personal opinion I guess. What about Hakim Warrick? he should be higher, his name fits too good with his dunks.. Great list though, Bismack Biyombo is gold ;)

  37. Nick Young got 275. Nick :Swagy P” Young would have been number 1.

    • Yeah, I may have to do a revised list to include nicknames sometime soon. Swaggy P would certainly be a contender.

    • Nick Youth makes sense because he does dumb things that young people do. Should be higher IMO.

  38. Will Barton at 416 is an outrage! He is clearly in the top 410!

  39. Jonas Valanciunas is one of my favs…
    and if Dikembe Mutombo still played, where would he rank?

  40. knew this was just going to be another way to indirectly slurp kobe

  41. It’s times like this where I wish that Dikembe Mutombo still played… I mean the dudes full name is Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo. Best name ever.

  42. Are you serious? DeMar DeRozan is the sickest name of all timeee!!

  43. Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues is top on both regular and nickname lists

  44. James Jones bottom? He doesn’t get any point for having a name like a superhero’s secret identity?

  45. in the ‘name that just fits the player’ realm, i feel carlos boozer is overlooked. such a perfect name for him. also, russell westbrook. i can’t explain this one, but it just feels right.

  46. How come Gasol brothers can be separated by over 200 positions? My favorite is Iman Shumpert by far ( always waiting for Tas to say it on a show).

  47. I don’t know what’s more pathetic. The fact that you made this list, or the fact that I read it. Nonetheless, the player formerly known as Ron Artest should be in last. Changed his name to the dunmbest name I have ever heard.

  48. 96. Omer Asik not Omir

  49. DeMar DeRozan should be higher. Coolest name I’ve ever heard.

  50. Russell Westbrook is to high; should be around 300. We still do not know if he is a dog or a cat.

  51. Wikipedia “Griffin” and tell me how I’m not in the top 5

  52. this list got me wondering, wouldn’t Diarrhea be a lovely woman’s name if it didn’t refer to explosive poop?

    anyhow, good list overall. I’m glad Rondo and Rubio got appreciated. both are terrific names. although if you are a point guard with a last name that starts with ‘R’ your ACL is in imminent danger (Rose, Rubio, Rondo) —this is not a coincidence, folks.

    I also think Blake Griffin got snubbed. Not only does it have a great ring to it, Griffins are known for flight, and Blake fits the name better than just about anyone. Bradley Beal got overlooked too. as did Lazar “The Czar” Hawyard.

  53. A great whetever list: great middle names (although probably done a million times by you dinosaurs).

    Larry Demetric Johnson.
    Fortunately, I did not have a son, so my wife and I could argue about him being named Demetric.

    Patrick Aloysius Ewing
    Picture Ewing warrior face, then put him an hawaian shirt on, and a flower necklace. It’s like the old trick of picturing your enemy naked, or having a dump. The enemy instantly loses all credibility.

    Lucien James Longley
    Once retired, I’m amost positive Longley became some kind of Alfred Pennyworth.

    David Maurice Robinson
    Private love for the maurice name. It has to do with this .
    My kid would have been Demetric-maurice, and I’d be wifeless.

    John Houston Stockton
    I like Stockton as an evil Texas businessman coming out of the Dallas TV show. But you want more texas? I’ll give you MORE TEXAS:

    Clyde Austin Drexler
    Texasest texan name.

    Middle names are gold (re read it with Leigh’s voice). You can digress on the Rashauns and the Fontaines for hours.
    By the way, Fontaine is for Latrell Fontaine Sprewell. I mean, give Sprewell’s parents a trophy. Pardon my language, but The only way to top that would have been Latrell Fµcking Fontaine Sprewell.

  54. JaVale McGee has 4 capital letters in his name. That should get bonus points. It also rhymes with McGoo, which suits his face so well.
    And it just seems like a name that he’d choose for himself. Like if Javale wasn’t called JaVale, but something like Brett, he would definitely change his name to JaVale

  55. btw, what would be the over/under of guessing which players have changed their names (like Ron Artest) by someone who knew nothing about the NBA would guess. I say 490. Even a name like Joe Johnson would arouse suspicion. Surely no parent with the surname Johnson would name their child Joe, right???

  56. First of all, terrific list.

    I’d have liked to see Leandro Barbosa rank a little higher

    & Jared Dudley, thats surely a last place vote getter..

  57. C’mon, Bismack Biyombo! That’s the top of the list.


  59. I think one of the NBA teams should draft and sign KoKo Archibong from the Nigerian Olympic team just so he can play >= 1 game and get on the list. Hey, he was captain of the Penn team, the guy must be able to play. He has supplanted Luc-Richard Mbah A Moute as #1 on my own personal all-time great name list.

  60. Great list, but my criteria is mostly based on how often I yell their name while watching them play. By default, my #1 is Rajon Rondo, because man I love to say “RONDO! RONDOOO!”

  61. I’d downgrade Carmelo Anthony just for the horrible way the Knicks annoucer says it, it’s like he’s fricking Oprah : Carmelooo AnthonAAAAAAAAAY!
    I want to strangle him every time…

    Rajon Rondo and Javale McGee are among my favorites, aswell as Rodrigue Beaubois…

  62. also like fab melo as a top 10. if jonny flynn was still in the nba, he should be a top 5.

  63. Ray Allen -no. 53
    Jesus Shuttlesworth – no.1

  64. Gotta love Darko Milicic at 8!

  65. I bet this list would be a little different if you said the names with exaggerated accents from the country of origin- in particular- Tony Parker with a ridiculous French accent is amazing, Tim Duncan with island accent, Andrei Kirilenko with your worst Russian supervillain accent, any Australian player, and of course- the best NBA name ever-…

    Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje
    A name so nice, you have to say it twice.

    –”Hi, I’m Ruben and you’re a wiener.”
    –Also, here’s a German announcer saying his name- basketball is beautiful in any language if Booumtje-Boumtje is in the game.
    –There’s a sublime song his German fans sing for at least a third of this 5 minute interview.

  66. Spent 10 minutes thinking of Classics: Dikembe Mutombo, Manute Bol, Mugsey Bogues, Anfernree Hardaway, Pops Mensa-Bonsu, Cherokee Parks, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Pape Sy, Norm Nixon, Raef LaFrentz, Darius Miles, Karl Malone, Salim Stoudamire, Clarence Weatherspoon, Brian Grant (paradoxical), Bison Dele, Lew Alcindor, Tom Chambers, Dennis Rodman, Hersey Hawkins, Alonzo Mourning, Larry Bird (ironic), Ndu Ebi, Gordon Giricek, Hakeem Olajawon, Isaiah Rider, Jamal Mashburn, Rod Strickland, Doug Christie (somehow having a female nickname as a last name fit perfectly)

  67. How is Joe Johnson’s name any better than James Jones or James Johnson?

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