The Great Nickname

Kobe Bryant bestows on Steve Nash the NBA’s best nickname.

Kobe Bryant bestows on Steve Nash the NBA’s best nickname.

Photo: Noah Graham / NBAE / Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

The Black Mamba . . . Diesel. . . Magic. . . Metta World Peace. . . The Logo. . . And now “Gatsby.” Clearly the Lakers have a knack for nicknames, but that last one – which Kobe Bryant has started calling new point guard Steve Nash — may just take the cake. Here’s Bryant talking to the Los Angeles Times about Nash’s impending return to the court: “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.”

The real question here is, why Gatsby? Is it because Nash is a snappy dresser? Did he roar a lot in his twenties? Is it just because he’s, y’know…great? Your guess is as good as ours. Anyway, now they just need to get Pau Gasol a good nickname, and the Lakers will be rolling. (And sorry, Pau, but “The Spaniard” doesn’t cut it.)

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