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NBA may allow player nicknames on jerseys for one game

Sep 23, 2013, 10:15 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

“King James passes out on the wing to Jesus Shuttlesworth, who is guarded by The Truth. Shuttlesworth hits Flash on the cut but KG is there and blocks the shot into the third row.”

We could see exactly that next season.

We all call players by their nicknames but the NBA may let Heat and Nets players put their nicknames on the back of their jerseys for one game, reports the Associated Press.

Some members of the Miami Heat have been told the NBA is considering having them and the Brooklyn Nets wear “nickname jerseys” in at least one of their four matchups this season. The NBA has not announced the plan, but teams apparently have been aware of the likelihood of it happening for at least several weeks.

“It shows growth in our league and it shows we do adapt to what’s going on around us,” said Allen, the Heat guard who plans to wear Shuttlesworth on his jersey, a nod to his character from the “He Got Game” film. “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.”

I love this idea. It would be even better if in warm-ups Denzel Washington would come out and challenge Allen to a game of one-on-one, but I’ll settle for the nicknames.

Sure, the NBA did this in part to spur jersey sales, but so what? NBA and all pro sports are entertainment, nothing more. We get invested in the characters and we love how things end because it is not predetermined, it’s drama in real time, but in the end it is entertainment (and we would do well to keep that in mind sometimes). So what is wrong with having some fun with nicknames on the jerseys?

For that game, I propose all the PBT writers will have nicknames in their bylines, too.

  1. dondada10 - Sep 23, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    This has the potential for hilarity with some players who might not have well known nicknames. Hakim Warrick, for example, used to call himself King Ding-a-ling.

    • sportsfan18 - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      Old Uncle Stern and the NY Gang will have to approve said nickname first no doubt…

  2. moseskkim - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    a ploy to get more money from jersey revenues?

    • no14mike - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      uh, well, yes. that’s exactly what the article says is the point.

      • moseskkim - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        O haha I just skimmed through missed that part

  3. nflcrimerankingscom - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Kurt The Typomaniac

  4. furiouslytim - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    KG would have to put Big Ticket on his jersey!

  5. asimonetti88 - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Too bad Oliver Miller isn’t in the league anymore. The Dunkin’ Donut

  6. elwaysagenius - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Swaggy P, Pierre, Psycho T. This would be great if they allowed nicknames

  7. xxakshunxx - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Please no, it was dumb enough when the XFL did it

    • antistratfordian - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM

      The XFL gifted the world He Hate Me. That prevented it from being a complete failure.

  8. 00maltliquor - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    That sounds fun. It’s way different. Kinda sad for the many players that don’t have nicknames or have generic nicknames like the first initial-last name/half-the-last-name though.

  9. antistratfordian - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Fun. Hope it happens.

  10. 00maltliquor - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    And btw, KG would be Big Ticket, and D Wade doesn’t go by Flash no more. She prefers W.O.W.

  11. 00maltliquor - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    The announcers will sound like an And 1 streetball game!

  12. roanboon - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Brent “Honey Badger” Musberger could announce that game.

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:10 AM

      Brent goes by “the Creep”

      • sportsfan18 - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        yeah, but that chick was hot

  13. adamsjohn714 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Too bad the Truth jersey won’t be a Celtics one. That thing would sell.

  14. midnite2020 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    I would love for bench players to make up names on the fly because they dont have one lol… Now checking in buttered biscuit hahaha im dying already

    • jcmeyer10 - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:47 AM

      I’m almost as excited to see what some guys come up with and if some made up nickname sticks beyond the game.

  15. chicitybulls - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    Wonder why it’s just those 2 teams for that 1 game. Should be league wide for a game or a week. Kinda how they do the Hispanic team names on the front (i.e. Los Bulls, Los Lakers, etc).

    • phaden27 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      Plenty of nicknames.

      Blown J
      The Truth
      The Big Ticket
      Schnook Lopez

      Whipping boy
      Jesus Shuttlesworth
      King James
      The Raptor

      • 00maltliquor - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:59 AM


      • miamatt - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        “Whipping Boy” may be more factually accurate, but Chalmers clearly is “Super Mario”. God, if they would let him wear the hat and tap the backboard to release a giant mushroom, I’d die a happy fan.

  16. scottychicago - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    I think this is one of the dumbest ideas I’ve heard.

    • antistratfordian - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:35 AM

      It’s one game, relax.

    • longtallsam - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      Let them play in just their jockstraps, and write the nickname on their back with a magic marker! :)

  17. coryfor3 - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    This idea is beyond ridiculous.

  18. sellahh - Sep 24, 2013 at 6:29 AM

    In addition, they should allow ppl to bring their pets to one game.

    • kb2408 - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:20 AM

      Now you’re just being ridiculous.

      • no14mike - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        they do that already at some baseball games

  19. kb2408 - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:18 AM


    • yuwannano - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      Doesn’t he go by “vino” now?

    • norcalkingsfan - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      self titled nick names don’t count.

  20. kb2408 - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    @maltliq, “Boshtrich”? Freaking priceless!!

  21. honkerdawg - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    Another move by David Stern and now his successor to CHEAPEN the the NBA

  22. edwardemanuelson - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Do not support this revenue ploy, and it won’t continue. This will bite the league in the butt.

  23. knowyourhistory1 - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    The idea of nicknames on the back of NBA jerseys has been done before. 40 years ago, the San Diego/Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks and the Baltimore Bullets had the nicknames of certain players sewn onto the back of their jerseys. The Rockets ‘ Elvin Hayes had a capital letter E in quotes sewn onto his jersey instead of his last name. This was also done for him when he was traded to the Baltimore Bullets. The Bullets also had Pearl on the back of Earl Monroe’s jersey and Wes on Wes Unseld’s jersey. The Hawks had Bells on Walt Bellamy’s jersey and Pistol in quotes on Pete Maravich’s jersey. I also believe that the Cincinnati Royals/Kansas City Kings had Tiny on the back of Nate Archibald’s jersey.
    The Cleveland Browns were the first, and maybe only, NFL team to have a players’ nickname on the back of a jersey when Joe “Turkey” Jones had Turkey screened onto on the nameplate on the back of his jersey instead of his last name about 1972.
    What is old is suddenly new again.

  24. cantonbound13 - Sep 24, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Can’t wait for the Chokin’ One’s jersey!

  25. tomtravis76 - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Head Coach Ason Kidd hopefully gets a warm up jacket to wear during the game.

    This is a nice change for the league, it should just be a one week stretch of games for all teams. But then put the jerseys away and wait until next season. It is still the NBA, the pro basketball league, not And 1.

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