The Definitive NBA Nickname Ranking

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The thing about basketball is that is it’s the best sport.

There are a multitude of reasons why basketball is the best sport (e.g. Charles Barkley, Slam Dunks, The Time Allen Iverson Stepped Over Tyronn Lue Like He Was Literal Trash), but a big one will always be how much of the players’ personalities we get to see: tattoos, facial expressions, and yes, the best nicknames.  I don’t know who comes up with them but I can only assume it’s the same hero that is responsible for Squeakquel and Chipwrecked.

So yeah, I ranked ‘em for you.

RULES:
• I’m not going to rank every damn nickname that has ever lived because that is lunacy. I picked ONE HUNDRED AND ONE, so quit whining.
• These are current players & retired players, but no coaches or entire-team nicknames.
• I dug a lot of this information up on Wikipedia, the web’s most reliable source. As a result I found a lot of alternate nicknames I have never heard before.
• So, I am ranking THEIR MOST COMMON NICKNAMES. They won’t get bumped up just because they have some fun alternative ones. It’s gotta be the main thing they’re known for.
• Well, sort of. A ton of players have names that are just their first initial and then the first syllable of their last name, so in those cases I will pit their alternate nicknames against each other.

Enough chatter. Let’s do the damn thing.

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101: Marco Belinelli
Nickname: 
“Beli”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: I don’t need to explain why this nickname is trash, do I? ‘Beli’ is far from scary. It already sucks that Marco Belinelli is one of the NBA’s biggest uggos, it’s a damn shame that he’s saddled with the literal first two syllables of his last name instead of an actual nickname.

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100: Derek Fisher
Nickname: 
“D-Fish”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: Not even a single other nickname? A five-time champion? One of my favorite players ever? He deserves a nickname, like ‘Mr. 110%’ or ‘The Barnes-Slayer’. WAIT, better yet, just ‘Jamie Lannister, The Kingslayer’. GET IT? CAUSE MATT BARNES WAS ON THE KINGS FOR ONE SEASON??!?!? DO YOU GET IT OR NOT??!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!

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99: Tracy McGrady
Nickname: 
“T-Mac”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: This is only 0.0000000000001% better than ‘D-Fish’, but like, whatever. It’s still awful. Poor Tracy.

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98: Derrick Rose
Nickname: 
“D-Rose”
Other Nicknames: “The Windy City Assassin”, “Poohdini”, “The Glassman”, “Glass Rose”
Thoughts: Love ‘The Windy City Assassin’. That right there is a great nickname. Too bad his most common one is D-Rose and that sucks all the wieners.

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97: Dwyane Wade
Nickname: 
“D-Wade”
Other Nicknames: “Flash, “Father Prime”
Thoughts: As per the rules, ‘D-Wade’ is not what I’m talking about. ‘Father Prime’ is pretty alright I guess.

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96: Kevin Durant
Nickname: “
KD
Other Nicknames: “Durantula”, “Kid Clutch”, “The Baddest”, “The Servant”, “Mr. Tickle”, “The Rim Reaper”, “Slim Reaper”
Thoughts: GET OUT OF HERE WITH ‘MR. TICKLE’. ‘Durantula’ and ‘Slim Reaper’ are great but people usually just say ‘KD’ and that one sucks. I gotta take a break, I’m still giggling like a schoolboy at ‘Mr. Tickle’.

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95: Chris Paul
Nickname: 
“CP3”
Other Nicknames: “Cliff Paul”, “Chris Smooth”
Thoughts: It goes without saying ‘CP3′ is terrible, but does ‘Cliff’ even count? It’s not really so much of a nickname as it is somebody he plays on television. Honestly though, sometimes I forget Cliff Paul is fake.

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94: Paul George
Nickname: “
PG13”
Other Nicknames: “Young Trece”, “PG”, “King George”
Thoughts: ‘PG13′ sucks. That’s not scary at all. He’s still suitable for children under 13 if they’re with their parent or guardian. This still has an edge over nicknames like ‘PG3′ because at least this one is a pun. Sort of.

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93: Latrell Sprewell
Nickname: 
“Spree”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: This is a damn shame right here. Latrell Sprewell is like the scariest guy I’ve ever seen. I still think about him a lot. He was suspended for 68 games when he choked his coach during a practice. A PRACTICE. What true madness. My other favorite Latrell Sprewell trivia is that he once said that his $21,000,000 contract wouldn’t be enough to feed his children. From Wikipedia: “He has made headlines for grounding his million-dollar yacht, having two of his homes foreclosed upon, and being prohibited from seeing his children”. Good ole Spree. Anyway that nickname sucks and the man deserves better.

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92: Carmelo Anthony
Nickname: “
Melo”
Other Nicknames: “Captain America”, “The Patriot”
Thoughts: The only reason this is better than the last batch is because Captain America and The Patriot are great, though kind of a stretch because those only refer to his performance in the Olympics. if your Olympic job got you a better nickname than your regular job, that sucks.

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91: Damian Lillard
Nickname: 
“Dame”
Other Nicknames: “Dame D.O.L.L.A.”, “Big Game Dame”, “Video Game Dame”
Thoughts: So, like, a weird sexist 40s detective gave him this nickname or what?

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90: Kendrick Perkins
Nickname: 
“Perk”
Other Nicknames: “Central Perk”, “Swamp Thang”, “Pendrick Kerkins”
Thoughts: Pure trash. The only reason ‘Perk’ is above ‘Dame’, is ‘Swamp Thang’ cracks me up and is also the meanest nickname I can even fathom.

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89: Shaquille O’Neal
Nickname: 
“Shaq”
Other Nicknames: Shaq Daddy”, “Shaq Fu”,“Diesel”,“The Big Aristotle”, “MDE” (Most Dominant Ever), “The Big Maravich” “The Big Fella”, “The Big Shaqtus”, “The Big Cordially”,“Big Shamrock”,“Shaqovic” “Shaq Attack” “Saškuille” “Wilt Chamberneezy”,
Thoughts: Easy now, settle down. I can feel you shouting at me already. Regardless of how you feel about Shaquille O’Neal, his nickname ‘Shaq’ isn’t clever at all and it’s just probably what he went by his whole life. It’s the same as somebody named Joseph going by ‘Joe’. Hardly prolific or clever.

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88: Gordon Hayward
Nickname: 
“G Time”
Other Nicknames: “White Mamba”, “White LeBron”
Thoughts: None of these are great. What he should be called, is “Don’t Show Your Face in Utah Again if You Want to Live Cause Those Mormons are Finna Kill You If You Do”

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87: James Harden
Nickname: 
“The Beard”
Other Nicknames: “Step Daddy”, “No D Harden”
Thoughts: The guy has a huge beard. Not very creative.

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86: Ben Wallace
Nickname: 
“Big Ben”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: He’s big and his name is Ben. Get it?

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85: D’Angelo Russell
Nickname: 
“D’Loading”
Other Nicknames: “D’Lo”, “Sub-Zero”, “Jack Frost”,
Thoughts: If you’re going to give yourself your own nickname, it has got to be better than this. ‘Loading’ implies he hasn’t even reached the good part yet.

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84: Russell Westbrook
Nickname: 
“Brodie”
Other Nicknames: “Beastbrook”, “Catalyst”, “Fashion Icon”, “Mr.Triple-Double”, “Westbeast”, “Rim Wrecker”, “Rim Abuser”, “GOATbrook”, “Bestbrook”, “The Terminator”, “Mini-Bron”, “Westbeast”, “Triple-Double Machine”, “One-Man Wrecking Crew”, “Loyal” , “Westbrick” “Living Adrenaline”
Thoughts: Another self-appointed nickname that doesn’t really mean anything. Even most of these alternate nicknames are vague and stupid and boy howdy if any of you cretins tell me Westbrook is the GOAT I will hunt you down Liam Neeson style.

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83: Zach LaVine
Nickname: 
“LaVine the Machine”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: Yeah alright. This is like, the absolute worst quality of nickname we should be allowing. If I was a teacher grading this paper I would probably write an obnoxious comment like “APPLY YOURSELF” or “I KNOW YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS!”.

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82: Ray Allen
Nickname: “
Sugar Ray”
Also: “Ra-Ray”, “Jesus Shuttlesworth”
Thoughts: We’re getting there. Sugar, though, when you break it down, isn’t exactly close enough to basketball for this to work. Like, what, he’s sweet like sugar? You even see that creepy snarl-smile he trademarked?

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81: Matt Bonner
Nickname: “
Red Rocket”
Other Nicknames: “Red Mamba”
Thoughts: NOT EVERYBODY GETS TO BE A MAMBA, OKAY? There’s only one Mamba, and it’s Kobe. Either way, ‘Red Rocket’ sucks, but did you know Matt Bonner had a sandwich blog? As far as I’m concerned, he’s Matt “Sandwich Blog” Bonner.

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80: Andrew Wiggins
Nickname: 
“Maple Jordan”
Other Nicknames: “Ender”, “Maple”, “Nintendrew Wii-gins”
Thoughts: Despite the fact that the Maple thing refers to the fact that he’s Canadian, it will always sound like a weird racial thing to me. Either way, he’s not the Canadian Michael Jordan. The Canadian GOAT is Steve Nash for sure. Side note – If we’re also throwing acting ability in, the Canadian GOAT is a little dude named RICK FOX, EVER HEARD OF HIM?

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79: Kristaps Porziņģis
Nickname: 
“PorzinGod”
Other Nicknames: “GOATzingis”, “KP”, Kris-P” “Zinger” “Zingis Khan” “3-6-Latvia” “The Statue of Liberty”, “The Latvian Gangbanger” “The Unicorn”
Thoughts: Not clever. Doesn’t rhyme. He’s not the GOAT. ‘The Latvian Gangbanger’ is wildly inappropriate.

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78: Chauncey Billups
Nickname: “
Mr. Big Shot”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: Too similar to ‘Big Shot Rob’, and far too general. No thanks.

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77: Dennis Rodman
Nickname: 
“The Worm”
Other Nicknames: “Most Honorable Friend of the Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-Un”
Thoughts: Five-time NBA Champion Dennis Rodman, who also remains in the top 25 rebounders to ever play the game deserves a nickname better than ‘The Worm’. This apparently has to do with the way he wiggled when he would play pinball as a child. PINBALL.

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76: Nikola Vucevic
Nickname: 
“Vucci Mane”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: The guy is just such an odd player to me. This type of nickname makes me smile a little bit, but it’s really not great outside the fact that it sort of rhymes.

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75: Manu Ginobili
Nickname: “
The Magician”
Other Nicknames: “Martinko Jakupovic”
Thoughts: How in the world do they not call him “The Batslayer?” Did you even SEE that game?

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74: Kawhi Leonard
Nickname: 
“The Claw”
Other Nicknames: “Sugar K”, “Who, What, Where and Kawhi”, “The Kingslayer”, “The Silent Assassin”, Kawhiet Storm”, “The Alien”
Thoughts: I guess because he’s got good hands. I guess. I GUESS.

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73: Wilt Chamberlain
Nickname: “
Wilt the Stilt”
Other Nicknames: “The Big Dipper”
Thoughts: Both of these nicknames just have to do with his height and not really with his talent. The man scored 100 points once. This is an injustice.

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72: Derrick Chievous
Nickname: 
“Band-Aid”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: I’ve never heard of this guy, but apparently he wore a Band-Aid for good luck every game which is weird and gross to me. Not a huge fan of any of this.

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71: John Wall
Nickname: 
“J Wow”
Other Nicknames: “Jimmy Franchise”, “J Wizzy”, “Optimus Dime”, “Wall-Star”
Thoughts: For real? A Jersey Shore reference? John Wall is a magical invincible deity who has to spend his life around us disgusting slugs and he deserves so much better than a god damn Jersey Shore ref.

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70: Pervis Ellison
Nickname: “
Never Nervous Pervis”
Other Nicknames: “Out of Service Pervis”
Thoughts: ‘Out of Service’ was given to him for his frequent injuries, but look – the guy’s real name is PERVIS. NO NICKNAME CAN TOP THAT.

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69: Metta World Peace
Nickname: 
“The Panda’s Friend”, “Ron Ron”, “Crazy Ron”, “Ron Artest”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: This one is such a conundrum for me. If you’re unfamiliar with this person, A) get off my blog and B) he’s a guy whose birth name was Ron Artest before he changed it to Metta World Peace. He now goes by the ‘The Panda’s Friend’ sometimes. Ron Artest is probably the biggest enigma this world has ever seen. But if your own nickname is your REAL NAME I don’t even know. This whole thing is like a riddle.

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68: Zach Randolph
Nickname: 
“Z-Bo”
Other Nicknames: “Mr. 20 and 10”, “Junkyard Dog”
Thoughts: Yeah I guess he’s been known to throw a ‘bo or two or eight. I get it. It’s fine.

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67: Tom Gugliotta
Nickname: 
“Googs”
Other Nicknames: “Cue Ball”
Thoughts: No nickname will ever be as fun to say as Tom Gugliotta, so, I feel like, just skip ‘em. Weird side note about Tommy Guggs: In NBA Courtside 2: Featuring Kobe Bryant, he pretty much never missed any shots. It was wonderful.

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66: Paul Pierce
Nickname: 
“The Truth”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: WHHHHHAAAATTTTEEVVVVVER. They should call him Crybaby Wheelchair Kid.

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65: DeAndre Jordan
Nickname: 
“DeAndre the Giant”
Other Nicknames: “DeAndre 3000″, “DJ, “Big Hero 6″
Thoughts: Yeah, okay, sort of. We’re getting there. ‘Big Hero 6′ is actually great but it’s not his main nickname so it doesn’t count.

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64: Marreese Speights
Nickname: 
“Mo’ Buckets”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: ‘Mo’ doesn’t quite work for me because Marreese is spelled differently than Maurice. Very nitpicky, but look, I’m ranking these damn things. I’m not into bodyshaming as I’m an awkward chubby corgi of a human myself, but shout out to that weird plug in his head that I can only assume is used to download information from outer space where he comes from.

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63: Karl-Anthony Towns
Nickname: 
“Big KAT”,
Other Nicknames: “The KAT-Man”, “Special K”, “Katmandu”
Thoughts: WHAT A WASTE. My goodness what a waste. It’s not the worst nickname ever, but Karl-Anthony Towns is a beautiful basketball monolith who simply needs a better nickname.

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62: Jamal Crawford
Nickname: 
“J Crossover”,
Other Nicknames: “Crawssover Crawford” “L.A.’s Dance Instructor”, “Mr And-One”
Thoughts: Yeah, this is good. It’ll do. Crossover sounds enough like Crawford. I’m on board.

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61: Larry Johnson
Nickname: 
“Grandmama”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: This nickname comes from commercials where he played his own grandma. I don’t know. It’s really great, but doesn’t really have anything to do with basketball.
Now you’re probably all like, “Hey but Kyrie’s nickname is from a commercial and you liked it” and I’m probably like, “Hush”.

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60: Chris Anderson
Nickname: “
Birdman”
Also: N/A
Thoughts: What Chris Anderson has in common with birds: they are both disgusting unpredictable creatures who will suddenly spread their wings and startle you and probably take a dump right on your head. Good nickname.

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59: Jason Williams
Nickname: 
“White Chocolate”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: Hopefully a black guy gave him this name. Super rad if so. If a white guy gave him this name, super not rad. Super super super super super not rad.

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58: Hassan Whiteside
Nickname: 
“The Great Wall”
Other Nicknames: “Agent Block”, “Block Mamba”, “Mount Whiteside”, “Blocktopus”, “Blockside”
Thoughts: Would be better if he was Chinese, but yeah this one isn’t bad.

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57: Kyle Korver
Nickname: 
“Hot Sauce”
Other Nicknames: “The Korverlier”, “White Thunder”
Thoughts: His time may be over, but for a while Kyle Korver was a 3 Point god, so when Stacey King calls you ‘Hot Sauce’, you know that’s a good thing.

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56: Kenneth Faried
Nickname: “
The Manimal”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: My instinct is to say this is great, but I feel like ‘Manimal’ is used across multiple sports on multiple people, so it loses some authenticity. Also, for real, Kenneth Faried was never THAT great.

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From that infamous game where NVE got an in-game blowjay

55: Nick Van Exel
Nickname: “Nick the Quick”
Other Nicknames: “Nick Van Excellent”, “Nasty Nick”
Thoughts: Not particularly known for being super fast is the only thing that takes this down a bit. I loved Nick Van Exel. ‘Van Excellent’ is better than ‘Nick the Quick’.

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54: Reggie Miller
Nickname: 
“Knick Killer”
Other Nicknames: “Miller Time”
Thoughts: Perhaps the most clutch guy to ever play the game? He scored EIGHT POINTS IN NINE SECONDS against that dickhead Spike Lee and the Knicks, and this choke move really gets my nethers in a tingle every time I see it.

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53: Shawn Bradley
Nickname: “
The Enormous Mormon”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: Not really a compliment and not even really a rhyme. Definitely enormous and definitely Mormon, though. By the way, he’s the white guy in Space Jam if you’re trying to figure out where you know him from.

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52: DeMarcus Cousins
Nickname: “
Boogie”
Other Nicknames: “Big Cuz”
Thoughts: I have no idea why I’m ranking this so high. Surely it belongs in the bottom 10 but something about this nickname is hilarious to me. If you’re angry about this one please send your hate mail to JesseMcGrath@FartKid.Gov because I don’t care to hear it.

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51: Bismack Biyombo
Nickname: “The Acrobatic from the Democratic (Republic of the Congo)”
Other Nicknames: “Bizzy Bo”,  “BB-8”, “Biznation”, “Big Bizness”
Thoughts: This is almost great. When you read it you’re like, “YES THIS IS GONNA BE GReat oh the parenthesis just ruined it nevermind.”

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50: Serge Ibaka
Nickname: 
“I-block-a”
Other Nicknames: “Serge Protector”, “Air Congo″
Thoughts: All three of these are solid. And he truly has the blocks to back up ‘I-block-a’.

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49: Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Nickname: 
“Big Z”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: My instinct is to say that ‘Big Z’ sucks, but the other day I was watching a Laker game and one of the commentators tried to call Ivica Zubac ‘Big Z’, and the other two commentators told him to shut the fuck up forever because Zyrdrunas owns that shit. After seeing that, I’ll give it some major cred. Z has one of my favorite real-life names in the history of everything though, so no nickname will ever be more fun to say than his own name.

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48: Kyrie Irving
Nickname: 
“Uncle Drew”
Other Nicknames: ”“Kyriediculous”,“Kyrazzle-Dazzle”, “Mr. 4th Quarter”, “Mr. Overtime”, “Flat-Earth”
Thoughts: ‘Uncle Drew’ is good, because it comes well-earned from those awesome commercials. He had a good run of alternative nicknames too, until his recent run in with science. Kyrie thinks the Earth is flat. The whole thing is just bananas.

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47: Jason Kidd
Nickname: 
“Mr, Triple Double”
Other Nicknames: “J-Kidd
Thoughts: It’s not easy to get this type of nickname, but Jason Kidd earned it, and well before Russell Westbrook decided to turn into a cheat mode video game character.

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46: Vince Carter
Nickname: “
Air Canada”
Other Nicknames: “Vinsanity”, “Half Man Half Amazing”, “VC”
Thoughts: If Vince Carter were actually Canadian, this would be like 20 places higher. And while he spent six seasons with the Raptors, he’s also bounced around the league on other teams for much longer. Not sure he should be eternally tied to the Raptors. By the way, Vince Carter is 40 years old and still playing.

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45: Gorgui Dieng
Nickname: 
“The Senegalese Sensation”
Other Nicknames: “Gorgeous”, “Green Monster”
Thoughts: You obviously know that The Senegalese Sensation is a great nickname, but let’s address the other two. They are complete opposites. Is he gorgeous or is he a monster? Gorgeous just sounds mean and sarcastic.

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44: Kevin Love
Nickname: 
“The Beach Boy”
Other Nicknames: “ “Knuckle-Pushups”, “The Disaster Master of Plaster”, “K-Love”, “Lil Kev”, “Droppin’ Dimes; Droppin’ Dimes”
Thoughts: Guy is a foofy little beach boy for sure. Plus he’s literally from Santa Monica. I’m from the Valley, but that is about the only difference I can find between the two of us.

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43: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Nickname: “
The Captain”
Also: “A”
Thoughts: A shockingly underwhelming nickname for Kareem God Damn Abdul-God-Damn-Jabar. How about ‘Mr. Number-One-Leading-Scorer-In-NBA-History-With-A-Two-Thousand-Point-Margin-From-Second-Place’? HOW BOUT THAT?

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42: James Worthy
Nickname: 
“Big Game James”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: It’s tough to separate the legend of the player themselves from the nickname. So, despite how much I want to smooch him right on the lips, ‘Big Game James’ is good-not-great. Also – the number 42 thing is a complete coincidence. Wink emoji.

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41: Chris Kamen
Nickname: 
“Caveman”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: So mean. Also so accurate. Guy’s straight out of a dang Geico commercial.

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40: Josh Smith
Nickname: 
“J-Smoove”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: This is a toughie for me, because ‘Smoove’ is fun to say, but Josh Smith is not anybody I would ever have described as smoove. He was a complete wildcard who would sometimes block like ten shots in a single game and then other times just barrel roll across the floor and make baby noises. By the way, if you’re wondering what team Joshy boy is on right now, it’s the Sichuan Blue Whales.

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39: LeBron James
Nickname: 
“King James”
Other Nicknames: “The King”, “(The) L-Train”,“LBJ”, “The Chosen One”, “The Akron Hammer”, “Akron Hero”, “CleBron”, “LeBlock James”, “Chasedown James”, “LeSherrif”, “LeBronika”
Thoughts: This is legitimately a good one. We’re now entering the realm of good nicknames. Everything above this is just better, though. This is where the rankings get dicey. Reminder to send your hate mail to Jesse.

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38: Glen Davis
Nickname: “
Big Baby”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: Guy looks and acts like a gigantic baby. Great nickname.

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37: Klay Thompson
Nickname: 
“Splashius Klay”
Other Nicknames: “AKlay-47”, “T-Vex”
Thoughts: Yep, yep, yep. Everything looks good here. ‘AKlay-47′ is good, but it’s too similar to Andrei Kirilenko, no bonus points for that.

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36: Yao Ming
Nickname: 
“Chairman Yao”
Other Nicknames: “Ming Dynasty”, “Shaquie Chan”, “The China Man”, “Great Wall of China”, “Beast from the Far East”
Thoughts: It’s too bad his main one isn’t ‘Shaquie Chan’ because that would be top 15 for sure. And ‘The China Man’ seems more or less pretty god damn offensive.

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35: Enes Kanter
Nickname: 
“Enes the Penis”
Other Nicknames: “Enes Cancer”
Thoughts: There is no way these are correct. At the time I’m publishing this post, that’s what it says on Wikipedia. ‘Enes the Penis’ is an elite-level nickname. If it were real, I’d put it at #1 but since it’s definitely not, I’ll settle for #35.

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34: Stephen Curry
Nickname: 
“Chef Curry”
Other Nicknames: “Steph”, “Baby Faced Assassin”, “The Golden Boy”
Thoughts: Because he’s always cookin’. It’s hard for me to like this nickname as much as I do, because I’ve recently realized Steph isn’t nearly as likable as he used to be. I’ll say this now, though: if Steph dunks two times in one quarter this season, I’ll like him again. C’mon Steph. Two dunks in one quarter. Those are my terms.

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33: Dikembe Mutombo
Nickname: 
“Mt. Mutombo”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: Even comparing him to a mountain seems like a disservice, but I’m not sure where else you can go. ‘Mt. Mutombo’ is fitting and wonderful. This picture was taken in 2013 when I saw him in an airport from about ten gates away because his head was super high above the rest like a flag at a music festival.

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32: Joel Przybilla
Nickname: 
“Vanilla Gorilla”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: Saying “Joel ‘Vanilla Gorilla’ Przybilla” out loud gives me such an unbelievable amount of joy, you guys. Blessed be the fruit.

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31: Chris Bosh
Nickname: “The Bostrich”
Other Nicknames: ”CB4″
Thoughts: Yeahhhhhh this’ll do. He looks just like an ostrich. I watch this confetti video probably once a week.

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29: Hakeem Olajuwon
Nickname: “
The Dream”
Other Nicknames: “N/A
Thoughts: Spot on. The record holder for most blocked shots. One of my favorite players of all time. He was a dream on the court. Hakeem The Dream, baby.

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30: Shawn Kemp
Nickname: 
“The Reignman”
Other Nicknames: “The Family Man”
Thoughts: His main one really should be ‘The Family Man’. Guy is a record-holder in the illegitimate children department.

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28: Gilbert Arenas
Nickname: “
Agent Zero”
Other Nicknames: “The Hibachi”, “Black President”,  “Nacho”, “Gil”, “High-Noon”, “The Gambler”
Thoughts: Spoooooookyscary and I like it. He wore Number Zero and drilled alotta clutch ass shots, like a secret agent sniper or something. Under normal circumstances he would be a bit lower, but the fact that his real name is GILBERT makes this so much better. Gilbert could not be more different than ‘Agent Zero’.

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27: Toni Kukoč
Nickname: 
“The Croatian Sensation”
Other Nicknames: “The Waiter”, “Euro Magic”
Thoughts: This former Sixth-Man-of-the-Year has three rings, and probably a bunch of European awards I won’t look up because Europe is dumb. He put together a buncha plays that were absolutely sensational. AND he’s actually Croatian. Remember this game winner vs The Knicks? I was five years old and I still do.

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26: Rik Smits
Nickname: 
“The Flying Dutchman”
Other Nicknames: “The Dunkin’ Dutchman”
Thoughts: I legitimately believe Rik Smits is from whatever planet horses are from. He’s like if Peter Krause ate nothing but rocks his whole life. Oh yeah, good nickname too.

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25: Andrei Kirilenko
Nickname: 
“AK47”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: One of the weirdest looking human beings I’ve ever looked at. The bones in his head were put together at such hard angles I felt like you’d slice your finger if you touched his face. Great shooter. Former All-Star. Love this nickname.

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24: Kobe Bryant
Nickname: ”The Black Mamba”
Other Nicknames:  “Mr. 81”, “KB-24”, “The 8th Wonder of the World”, “Kobe Wan Kenobi”, “Lord of the Rings”, “The Dagger”, “Vino”, “Jeallybean Jr”
Thoughts: From ages 6 to 26 Kobe Bryant was my hometown hero. Despite all this, I’m trying to remain objective here. The Black Mamba is great for many reasons: First, it’s fun to say. Say it out loud. Second, a black mamba is a deadly ass snake. Third, it’s a solid pun. Fourth, mamba sounds like some sort of dance move which is what Kobe looked like he was doing when he was turning every defender into goop. Fifth, it sparked a bunch of other dipshits tryna call themselves Mamba. All in all, a really great nickname.

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23: Rudy Gobert
Nickname: 
“The Stifle Tower”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: He’s tall and French. Nailed it.

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22: Robert Horry
Nickname: 
“Big Shot Rob”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: This really isn’t hyperbole. The guy hit so many god damn game winners. Soooooooo many clutch shots (special shout out to one of the post game interviews here where Kobe calls him “Long Arm Rob” which is just such a dud). One of my favorite Lakers ever.

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21: Allen Iverson
Nickname: 
“A.I.”
Other Nicknames: “The Answer”, Bubba Chuck”, “Steven John Ray the Third”
Thoughts: No matter how much people say he was one of the greatest, I still consider him to be like, the most underrated star ever. This guy was absolutely nuts. ‘The Answer’ would be great enough even if it was his main nickname. ‘AI’ is perfect; it’s like the guy was hardwired to ball. Artificial intelligence. Allen Iverson. Allen. Gat. Darn. Iverson.

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20: Tim Duncan
Nickname: “
The Big Fundamental”
Other Nicknames: “Slam Duncan”,“TD”, “Timmy D”, “Old Man Riverwalk”, “Old Man Duncan”, “TD Bank”
Thoughts: The guy’s nickname is based purely on how great his fundamentals were. That’s as A+ as it gets. ‘Old Man Riverwalk’ is an insane one that sounds fake.

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19: Jeremy Lin
Nickname: 
“Linsanity”
Other Nicknames: “Super Lintendo”, “Lincredible”, “Lintastic”, “Lin Dynasty”, “Lin-Tense”
Thoughts: ‘Linsanity’ was not only a nickname, it was a period of time. When Jeremy Lin broke out, the whole world lost their mind. The nickname not only reflects his ability, but takes us back to a special time when we all thought a solid player was way better than he actually was.

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18: Daron Blaylock
Nickname: “
Mookie”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: This nickname is so good that I had never one considered that he had another real first name. He’s Mookie Blaylock, and always has been. When I first read Daron Blaylock I was like “who the hell is this guy?”

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17: Tyrone Bogues
Nickname: “
Muggsy”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: Same deal as ‘Mookie’. Tyrone? Nah. Ain’t no such person as Tyrone Bogues. There is only Muggsy.

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16: Kevin Garnett
Nickname: “
The Big Ticket”
Other Nicknames: “Go-Go Gadget Arms”, “KG”, “The Kid”
Thoughts: I spent a whole lotta years watching The Lakers and the Celtics in the finals and I never once heard anybody call him ‘Go-Go Gadget Arms’, so, whatever to that. Either way, ‘Big Ticket’ is a great one.

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15: Dirk Nowitzki
Nickname: 
“The Germanator”
Other Nicknames: “”Mr 30,000”, “The Dunking Deutschman”, “Tall Baller From The G”, “Ghostface Drillah”, “Dirty”, “Swish41”, “German Jesus”, “Bavarian Bomber”, “Dirk Diggler”, “The Berlin Tall”, “German Wunderkind”, “Dirk Savage”
Thoughts: ‘THE GERMANATOR’. C’mon I shouldn’t have to explain how good this is.

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14: Gary Payton
Nickname: 
“The Glove”
Other Nicknames: “GP”
Thoughts: Because he was on you like a glove. Nobody’s nickname sounds anything like this. One of a kind.

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13: Oscar Robertson
Nickname: 
“The Big O”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: Not sure many nicknames are this sexually blatant. Love that.

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12: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Nickname: “
The Greek Freak”
Other Nicknames: “”Magic Giannson”
Thoughts: WHAT A GOOD ONE. His name is Giannis Antetokounmpo, which seems like it would be impossible to top, but his whole body is shaped like a space creature and he’s got arms made of spaghetti – he’s an absolute delight to watch. I’m really rooting for him. ‘The Greek Freak’ is a winner, and would also be a good name for a breakfast cereal.

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11: Nick Young
Nickname: 
“Swaggy P”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: You might be furious to read such a thing as a Number 11 ranking for the NBA’s most confusing player. The real reason I love ‘Swaggy P’ so much is that 1) it doesn’t make a lick of sense and 2) it’s not only a nickname, but it truly feels like an entirely different personality. ‘Swaggy P’ is not Nick Young. He’s like a superhero who walks into the Staples Center as Nick Young and when the game begins he goes into a telephone booth and transforms into ‘Swaggy P’ and nobody ever knows what to do about it.

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10: Julius Erving
Nickname: “
Dr. J”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: Doctor. DOCTOR. The man is a basketball doctor. If a basketball got sick and needed a doctor, they would call Julius. Not sure how much more I can stretch this metaphor.

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9: Bill Russell
Nickname: 
“The Secretary of Defense”
Other Nicknames: “Mr. 11 Rings”
Thoughts: Either of these nicknames would earn him the #9 spot. 11 rings in 13 seasons? What a thing!

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8: Karl Malone
Nickname: 
“The Mailman”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: Because he always delivered. Flawless. Karl Malone is the #2 all-time leading scorer, and they never even bothered to give him another nickname because ‘Mailman’ is so damn perfect.

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7: Darryl Dawkins
Nickname: “
Chocolate Thunder”
Other Nicknames: N/A
Thoughts: You kidding me? BACK THE FUCK UP FROM ANYBODY NAMED CHOCOLATE THUNDER.

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6: Charles Barkley
Nickname: 
“The Round Mound of Rebound”
Other Nicknames: “Sir Charles”, “Prince Charles”, “Leaning Tower of Pizza”, “Pillsbury Dough Boy”, “The Human Refrigerator”, “The Flying Coke Machine”, “The Crisco Kid”, “Boy Gorge”
Thoughts: THE ROUND MOUND OF REBOUND ARE YOU KIDDING ME gosh darnit that’s just so good. All of them are. ‘The Human Refrigerator’ is pure nonsense and I love it. Today he just goes by ‘Chuck’ which is definitely more fitting than Charles based purely on the level of shenanigans he gets into. This isn’t relevant but I still quote that scene in Space Jam where a teenage girl is super mean to him like once a week.

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5: George Mikan
Nickname: 
“Mr. Basketball”
Other Nicknames: “The Big Number”
Thoughts: Mr. Basketball. I’m honestly regretting not giving this one first place. MISTER FUCKING BASKETBALL. Do you know how good at basketball you have to be to be called ‘Mr. Basketball’? The guy pioneered the ambidextrous hook shot and is such a legend that almost every photo of him is in black and white.

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4: Larry Bird
Nickname: “
The Great White Hope”
Other Nicknames: “The Hick from French Lick”
Thoughts: The honky GOAT. Incredible nickname? Yes. Possibly a great name for a white supremacy movement? Also yes. So just ignore that part.

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3: Michael Jordan
Nickname: 
“Air Jordan”
Other Nicknames: “His Airness”,“MJ”,“The G.O.A.T”, “The Black Cat”
Thoughts: Just think this through for a moment. There is no other player whose nickname specifically makes you think of an exact moment. There is no other player who launched an entire brand because of that iconic pose. HE DUNKED FROM THE FUCKING FREE THROW LINE.
Though TBH I think the pose should be modified to give him that long ass Stretch Armstrong arm from the end of Space Jam.

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2: Jerry West
Nickname: 
“The Logo”
Other Nicknames: “Mr. Clutch”, “Zeke From Cabin Creek”
Thoughts: Hall-of-Famer Jerry West is quite literally the embodiment of the NBA. He’s LITERALLY iconic.

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1: Earvin Johnson
Nickname: 
“Magic”
Other Nicknames: Truly couldn’t matter less.
Thoughts: This nickname right here is what every nickname strives to be. There are probably people in the world who think Magic is his real first name. Earvin Johnson played like true magic, and he became Magic Johnson. I’m not even putting quotes around that because it’s just fact. He’s magic. I bet it says Magic on his driver’s license. Truly the greatest.

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