Archive for the ‘Nicknames’ Category

Kobe Bryant: Human Snake

There’s not much to say about this, so I feel like you should hear it straight from the source. Here’s Jordan Crawford explaining the sounds Kobe Bryant makes when he plays, courtesy of the D.C. Sports Bog:

On Kobe Bryant’s noises: “When I first played with Kobe — they call him the Black Mamba — but then he was doing like a little snake sound when he wanted the ball. It was crazy. It was crazy. It’s like tsssss, tsssss. ”Like Fish, Fish, Fisher, tsssss, tssss.” He do that. Everybody tells you he’s gonna do it before you play him — like, ‘Wait till you hear him do this.’ And then he [does] it, and it’s like, what? He’s really a mamba. It sounds like some kind of snake.”

Up until about five minutes ago, I hated Kobe Bryant’s self-prescribed nickname. Now though, I think it’s kind of brilliant. He literally acts like a snake when he’s playing, if only because he gave himself a snake nickname. I always knew Kobe would be a Slytherin, but I’d have never guessed he can speak Parseltongue. Truly amazing.

(via Marcel Mutoni)

Hey guys, I have a new favorite NBA nickname. You will too after reading this. It comes from Courtney Lee and it’s about Jason Collins. From’s Ben Rohrbach:

Apparently, Courtney Lee calls Jason Collins “J-Teeth.”

Reporter: “JT?”

Lee: “J-TEETH. You seen them veneers?”

Yep, that’s perfect. J-Teeth it is. Thanks, Courtney Lee.

Sounds like someone went to the movies over Christmas. From ESPN’s Michael Wallace:

From now on, Haslem says no longer wants to be called Udonis or ‘UD’. He said address him in 2013 as Django, FWIW.

Well, the D is silent, so calling him “UD” is kind of pointless anyways. So I guess it’s Django Haslem now. He asked for it, so let’s grant this minor wish.

In return, however, let’s all call LeBron “Jules Winnfield” because he strikes down upon the league with great vengeance and furious anger. Seems fair to me.

Nicknames can come from the strangest places sometimes. We all know that Brian Cardinal’s “The Janitor” has a few different origin stories, Kobe Bryant came up with his own (which is bad for so many reasons) and Derrick Rose is called “Pooh” because he eats a bunch of sweets, just like Winnie the Pooh — these things literally come from anywhere.

Like, for instance, a malfunctioning scoreboard that just keeps making up names during a random Tuesday night Thunder-Nets game in Brooklyn. From

Due to a scoreboard malfunction, Thabo Sefolosha’s surname was written as “Sedohosha” during the first quarter. Other surname malfunctions continued throughout the game. At one point, the Nets purportedly had a player whose last name was Pooks.

From now on, it’s practically mandated that we all call MarShon Brooks “Pooks,” since he’s the one with the misspelled name that makes for a perfect nickname. It’s destiny, especially since “Small Face Killah” hasn’t really caught on for some reason.

But it’s not just “Pooks” and “Sedohosha” that can come from a messed up scoreboard. There are loads of other barely changed names that could make for great sobriquets. Like these:

  • JoeJohn Son
  • Darwin Skillems
  • Krisp Homefries
  • Russell Bestbook
  • Mirza Televisions
  • C.J. Whatson
  • Terry Bones
  • Shmendrick Nerpins
  • DeAndre Gigglins

You get the idea — sometimes little changes lead to great nicknames. Give it a shot in the comments if you want. If not, just keep living your life without fun.

People might try to tell you that “Captain Canada” is Steve Nash’s nickname, but it’s not on his Wikipedia or Basketball Reference page, so that can’t be true. Besides that, it’s not a very good nickname. And as far as I can tell, pretty much everyone always calls him “Steve Nash” (both names) most of the time anyways. Ergo, 38-year-old Steve Nash could use a nickname.

Luckily, Kobe Bryant has the hookup, holler if you hear him. From the Los Angeles Times:

“I’m not working too hard, to be honest with you. The shots that I made were all jumpers. It doesn’t take much energy to knock those jumpers down,” he said. “Bringing the ball up and having me kind of initiate the offense and score and stuff like that, it’s making me work a little more than I will when Gatsby gets back.

“When Gatsby gets back, I don’t have to do that. The game’s going to become even more easy for me.”

While I don’t think “Gatsby” will stick at all, that is a solid nickname for Steve Nash. Just look at him — side part, three-piece suits, constructed persona created to attract one very specific woman is white — it fits. For as long as Steve Nash is on the sidelines dressing all fancy, I’m very OK with this. Especially if someone can convince him to start wearing a driver’s cap.

At the very least, this is way better than any other nickname Kobe has ever come up with. Sure, topping “Black Mamba” and “Mini Mamba” isn’t much to brag about, but at least he’s added a new skill in his old age, though I do worry this is just an excuse to start calling Pau Gasol “Daisy.” Only time will tell.

(via SLAM)

We are all head over heels in love with the Grizzlies right now, so let’s have some fun times with one of their leaders. We’re talking about Zach Randolph and we’re including a couple of fun anecdotes that have recently popped up on the internet about the Grizzlies’ big man.

One, he may have given himself a new nickname. From the Memphis Commercial-Appeal:

“I’ll just be the garbage man,” Randolph said. “I’m going to pick your trash up. I’ll do what I’ve got to do.”

Zach “Garbage” Randolph because he’ll “pick your trash up?” Works for me.

Here’s the second thing, from Jonathan Abrams’ excellent Randolph profile at Grantland:

Two years later, a Portland exotic dancer sued Randolph for sexual assault. (Police never filed criminal charges.) Randolph’s lack of self-awareness during this stretch remained staggering. When Portland players were allowed to choose their own pregame warm-up songs, Randolph selected T-Pain’s “I’m ‘n Luv (Wit a Stripper).”

So we’ve got a new nickname and an embarrassing story about his past — this is like going to Zach Randolph’s house for Thanksgiving and having his mom tell you a bunch of awkward stuff from when he was a kid. If only we could get our hands on some baby pictures of him wearing nothing but a diaper and galoshes. Then the trip would really be complete.

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.