So, are we gonna talk about the new nickname jerseys the NBA finally unveiled last Friday? Oh, we are? Good. If you’re like me, the new nickname duds make you feel like you’re watching a college co-ed intramural game, but there’s no denying some of those nicknames are pretty freakin’ cool. I mean, who doesn’t love Ray Allen rocking J. Shuttlesworth on the back of his Heat jersey? Speaking of He Got Game, there’s talk of a sequel! I just hope Big Time and Booger make appearances.
Anywho, for curiosity’s sake, let’s take a gander at what the NBA nickname game could have looked like if it would’ve existed since the dawn of the NBA. Here are 5 awesome nickname jerseys that could have been:
1. “Bombaata” – Wilt Chamberlain
Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Well, not unless your name is Grace Jones. Sure, Wilt could’ve gone with “Wilt the Stilt” or “The Big Dipper,” but those are nowhere near as cool as Wilt’s alter-ego from Conan the Destroyer. Who knows? Maybe sporting “Bombaata” on the back of his Lakers jersey would’ve even drawn the Governator himself to a game or two? Wouldn’t you love to see Ahhnold sitting courtside next to Jack Nicholson at a Lakers game? I know I would.
2. “Mr. Electra” – Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman played many roles in his tenure in the NBA. He was a ferocious defender, flamboyant fashionista and lightning rod for controversy. But perhaps his most infamous off-court role was husband to Carmen Electra. When Mr. Rodman tied the knot with the Baywatch babe in 1998 the pair was immediately scrutinized by the media for their seemingly strange union. This was, after all, a man who rocked a wedding dress to promote his own book, the mental image of which will forever be burned in my retina. Six months later, though, Dennis and Carmen split, ending a union that will live forever in infamy. I’d totally sew “Mr. Electra” on the back of Rodman’s nickname jersey, but knowing him, he’d just spill hair dye on it.
3. “The Admiral” – David Robinson
No, no, I’m not talking about a certain X-rated club in Chicago – get your minds out of the gutter! I’m talking about David Robinson, the longtime San Antonio Spur. Robinson earned the ridiculously awesome nickname “The Admiral” for his service in the US Navy, but his ultimate rank was actually Lieutenant, Junior Grade (Wikipedia). In the end, David chose basketball, and San Antonio prospered, winning two championships with him at center. Not to mention he mentored a certain someone who became kind of a big deal in the NBA. Seriously, how is Tim Duncan still so good? He doesn’t age. It’s like he’s a vampire or something. But back to David Robinson. “The Admiral” would look awesome on the back of a Spurs jersey. ‘Nuff said.
4. “Mr. Basketball” – George Mikan
How many dudes do you know who are referred to as the “Mr.” of their sport? Shhh, Johnny Football doesn’t count – there’s no Mr. involved! But for realz, “Mr. Basketball” has got to be one of the coolest nicknames I’ve ever heard. Not to mention Mikan basically perfected the hook shot and was the reason the NBA widened the lanes. Does it get much cooler than that? “Hi, I’m George. The lane is 12 feet wide because of me. You’re welcome, world!” That was me being George. “Mr. Basketball” on the back of his Minneapolis Lakers jersey (because, yeah, the Lakers were in MN back then) would have been pretty cool.
5. “The Glove” – Gary Payton
I’m a sucker for defense, and nobody smothered dudes like Gary Payton. He was nicknamed “The Glove” for his defensive prowess, but he was a complete point guard. Gary could beat you a number of ways – with suffocating defense, accurate shooting, solid passing and trash talk that could make a grown man want to cry. If being top-5 all time in technical fouls is the mark of a dangerous player, consider Gary the Ndamukong Suh of the NBA. Swagger goes a long way in sports, and “The Glove” had swagger to spare. I’d love to see “The Glove” in his prime guarding Russell Westbrook. I guess that only happens in video games.
Welp, there you have it. Those are the nicknames I’d like to see instead of “JJ” and “Rio.” Seriously, Mario Chalmers, that’s the best you can do? You didn’t even think to work in a Super Mario Bros reference? Amateur. Which nicknames would you like to have seen? Hit us up with some ideas on Facebook or Twitter @BaconSports!
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