Hey, anything for an extra buck, right Commish?
Photo: Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013
According to reports, the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets will shed their boring old last names in favor of their nicknames - at least for a game or two. This wouldn't really be a first (remember the XFL and "He Hate Me"?) From a business standpoint, this makes sense. More variations mean more jerseys sold, hence the Lakers rolling out their "Hollywood Nights" unis last week.
But whether this is really a good idea will come down to what nicknames these guys choose. For LeBron, "King James" or "The Chosen One" is definitely cooler than "LBJ" or "Bron Bron." And some of the options are undoubtedly cool. Ray Allen, for instance, says he'll likely go with "Shuttlesworth," based on his character, Jesus Shuttlesworth, from He Got Game. "It shows growth in our league and it shows we do adapt to what's going on around us," said Allen. "And we're still kids, playing a kids' game. Even though we're now men playing a kids' game, we still remember where we come from. Everybody had a nickname and it's a way to let the fans in a little bit more." Fine, but why go with "Shuttlesworth" when you've got "Jesus" as an option?!?
Paul Pierce is "The Truth." That’s definitely cool. Deron Wiliams is "D-Will." Boring. Chris "Birdman" Anderson? Fine. Andrei "AK-47" Kirilenko? Awesome. Joe Johnson? Not only does he have about as boring a real name as possible, but does he even have a nickname?
You've got to wonder what players from the past would have made of all this. Safe to say Larry Bird would have opted for "Larry Legend" over "The Hick from French Lick," and Jerry West would have gone with "The Logo" rather than "Zeke From Cabin Creek." But let's be honest, who wouldn't want a "Chocolate Thunder" Darryl Dawkins jersey or a "Human Highlight Film" Dominique Wilkins jersey?
And then we've got Dwyane Wade and Kevin Garnett to contend with. Both are shoe-in Hall of Famers, to be sure. They also have two of the laziest nicknames in all of sports. KG? Those are initials, not a nickname. D-Wade? Those aren't even initials, just one initial and the dude's last name! Here's hoping they opt for "The Big Ticket" and "Flash," respectively.
At the very least, we can all agree that if Chris Bosh goes with "CB1" instead of "The Boshtrich" a grave disservice will have been done. Can we start a campaign now?
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