With the NBA playoffs in full swing, and almost all the first round series looking decided, I took a moment to assign nicknames to exactly three (3) players from each of the teams that have a real chance to be in the second round. As there are only nine teams still in contention, I took it upon myself to make AN ODD-NUMBERED LIST of nicknames that I invented just now because that is how you win on the internet.
Los Angeles Clippers
1. Blake “Pads” Griffin
2. Ryan “The Brass City Strangler” Gomes
This would be better if he had a reputation as an elite defender, but I mean, he’s from Waterbury, CT, also known as Brass City, and this just seems like a good epithet for a serial killer menacing the northeast during the industrial revolution. Waterbury’s motto is “Quid Aere Perennius?” meaning “What is more lasting than brass?” Big ups to Horace, Brass City.
3. Randy “Foyer” Foye
Much like a foyer, Randy Foye is pretty forgettable, but not something anyone feels particularly strongly about. He’s the two-guard your team has when they’re waiting for something better.
1. Lester “Granddad” Hudson
Lester Hudson is the oldest name I’ve heard since I learned DMX’s real name is Earl Simmons.
2. Gilbert “Shooting Star” Arenas
He has a really good jump shot, see. Oh, also that thing when he and Javaris Crittenton were pulling guns on each other after a disagreement over gambling debts, which would have been acceptable if they were play-acting about the Old West. Maybe it should be Gilbert “Wild Bill” Arenas.
3. Hamed “Tower of Babylon” Haddadi
Now, I know what you’re thinking, what a good nickname for a 7’2″ Iranian dude. The only problem is that Babylon was in Iraq, and that it’s the Tower of Babel, not Babylon. Nevertheless, there is no grander tradition in sports than racist-ass nicknames for foreigners. Do enjoy this Wikipedia page of baseball players with ethnic nicknames. It’s a treasure. There’s a staggering number of dudes forced to bear nicknames like Dutch, Heinie, Irish, and SuperJew. Apparently Frederick Schmit was known as Crazy, but that wasn’t enough, so his other nickname was “Germany.” Jap Barbeau just sorta looked Japanese, so they called him that. So by that horrible standard, this is an entirely appropriate nickname!
Oklahoma City Thunder
1. “How” Lazar Hayward
I don’t really want to talk about Lazar Hayward for longer than I need to. He is not of great importance.
2. Eric Maynor McCheese
Did you know Grimace was originally a villain? But he’s the big loveable purple mental incompetent! For some reason, the McDonaldland (I guess that’s what the whole Mayor McCheese/Grimace/Hamburglar village is called) Wikipedia makes it seem like a slightly more dramatic version of of the Roman Empire, with sections like, “1971-1974: Early Years”, “1974-1979: Transition Years” and of course, “1980-present: Popularity and Decline.” AND THERE WAS A VIDEO GAME (good news, cheats are available!).
3. Royal Ivey
I don’t know that he needs a nickname, so much as a role on a game show called NBA Player or Cologne?
Los Angeles Lakers
1. Ramon “Pete” Sessions
Much the way Ramon Sessions is the current chair of the Los Angeles Lakers offense, Pete Sessions is the current Chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee. And he has a seven-part “Controversies” section on his Wikipedia. Fun!
2. Jordan Hill Street Blues
Much the way Hill Street Blues was a police procedural, so is Jordan Hill’s life.
3. Devin “Electronic Banks” Ebanks
Sometimes it helps to spell it out.
1. Rajon “Mayor” Rondo
Because, as Yung Berg once said, that’s just Mayor Rondo.
2. Ryan Hollins “Oates”
Private eyes (clap clap) and so on.
3. Brandon “You Gotta” Bass “Car”
I remember when we were driving, driving in your car.
1. Danny Granger’s on a Train OR Grangers in the Night, Granger than Fiction, Walker, Texas Granger, Mistaken for Grangers, Granger in a Strange Land, and so on.
The point being, if he weren’t like, the most boring guy ever, Danny Granger could have a lot of cool nicknames.
2. Jeff “Close the Door” Pendergraph
3. Roy “Blocktor” Hibbert
I’m actually kinda upset this isn’t already his real nickname because 1) he blocks a lot of shots, 2) Dr. Hibbert! It’s right there for the taking. Blocktor Hibbert! Blocktor Hibbert! Alternate spelling: Bloctor Hibbert! (That was so that is someone googles those things, as I did, they’ll find this website rather than, as is currently the case, zero results.)
1. Spencer Hawes’in’s Creek
I just wanted the JVDB GIF is all.
2. Tony Battie “Time”
Because nothing is more feared than Tea Time. Or Tony Battie.
3. Jodie “The Inheritor” Meeks
I think I’m done with Bible things now.
1. Mario “SuperNintendo” Chalmers
2. Shane “Ol’ Wrinkly Head” Battier
Sometimes it’s as simple as having a Wrinkly Head.
3. LeBron James: King James
Despite being a LeBron detractor, I’m actually OK with this one, assuming we’re specifically talking about King James III of Scotland. Wikipedia, go:
His reputation as the first Renaissance monarch in Scotland has sometimes been exaggerated, based on attacks on him in later chronicles for being more interested in such unmanly pursuits as music than hunting, riding and leading his kingdom into war.
YE OLDE BURNE!
San Antonio Spurs
1. Tiago Splitter
No nickname needed when you already have the coolest name evar.
2. Emanuel “Manu” Ginobili
I always enjoy when a player’s nickname totally supersedes their real name, like with Pedrag “Peja” Stojakovic, Hidayet “Hedo” Turkoglu and Troy “Waste of Space” Murphy.
3. Tim “The Big Fundamentalist” Duncan
A graphic during one of their games with the Jazz referred to his team role as “Fundamentalist.” Better still, he his head was bowed down as if in prayer while he was shooting free throws (towards Mecca?). The point being, consistently hitting a bank shot and having good footwork in the low post is basically the same as violently advocating a return to sixth-century social mores.