The NBA, more so than other leagues it seems, is renowned for having high profile characters. With such small roster sizes, we the fans are able to get a larger glimpse into the lifestyle of world class athletes. With these characters comes a number of amusing and revealing nicknames, so much so that the nickname can overtake name recognition.
King James. The Matrix. Jesus Shuttlesworth. The renown of each of those monikers transcends just the core of basketball fans.
Now comes word that the Heat and Nets might don nicknames on their jersey in place of a last name. Could this stunt become a league-wide trend? Doubtful, but it would be interesting to see what various NBA players would call themselves.
What would your Atlanta Hawks look like with embroidered nicknames and their jerseys? My photoshop skills are lacking so you’ll just have to use your imagination but here goes my attempt.
Al Horford – Boss
With Josh Smith gone, Al Horford steps forward as the franchise cornerstone for this and future seasons. The Google search of “Al Horford boss” brings forth almost 1.5 million results (some of which you should check out). I think it’s a perfectly fitting name for a player whose career has relied on quiet dominance. Opponents will first have to bring down the head honcho if they wish to dispatch the Atlanta Hawks.
Jeff Teague – Agent 0
No, he won’t be known for launching (and hitting) 25 foot plus three pointers or for bringing weapons into the team locker room. But all his career, Jeff Teague has been overlooked. He couldn’t scratch minutes behind Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford. An inconsistent but solid two year stretch as the main Hawks floor general resulted in a passing offer in restricted free agency from the point guard-desperate Milwaukee Bucks. But here in Atlanta he will remain, determined to prove naysayers wrong and to elevate his game to an elite level. With spy-like quickness to the hoop, he’ll prove to be a pesky competitor in 2013 and beyond.
Lou Williams – Mayor of LouWillVille
Sadly, this mayor has taken a forcible leave of absence from his position to tend to health needs. But he will come back to power better than ever. LouWillVille is more than an area; it’s a movement. It’s one that includes more than the basketball prowess of its mayor. It involves the world hip hop and beyond. Embrace the village or get left out.
Kyle Korver – Ashton Kutcher
How funny would it be to bring your family or friends to a Hawks game and see that Ashton Kutcher has seemingly suited up for the hometown team? Other than trying to explain an unexpected growth spurt from the actor, the resemblance is so uncanny that it will be an easy sell. But rest assured, you won’t be getting Punk’d by his shooting; it is actually going through the nets at an astounding rate, as in a least one long bomb for the last 74 games. The rest of the league may need to assign Two and a Half Men to guarding this sniper.
Paul Millsap – Grit ‘N Grind
With all apologies to the Memphis Grizzlies, Paul Millsap’s perfect moniker is a testament to the long road he toiled to reach this status. Drafted in the second round out of little-known Louisiana Tech, Millsap had to grind his way in practice towards eventually becoming a starter in Utah. He never takes plays off. He never skips leg day in the weight room. Rumor has it that Millsap doesn’t even sleep; rather he merely waits for the sun to rise to begin his training regimen anew.
Dennis Schröder – The Menace
Opposing coaches will be losing sleep trying to devise a plan to slow down Schröder’s paint penetration abilities. His dazzling passes force the defense to keep a head on a swivel, but this may result in neck problems. As a young man not even able to buy a legal drink in the States, he may be known as Dennis the Menace in the Association for a long time to come.
John Jenkins – Johnny Cash
John Jenkins’s shooting stroke can only be described as a work of priceless art. He might as well take former Hawk DeShawn Stevenson’s advice and install an ATM in his house because he’s need to cash in his winnings from hitting the three point jackpot. He’s embraced the country western’s title so much that’s he’s adopted it as his Twitter handle. Fans will be saying “money” more than Aretha Franklin by the time the season’s over.
Mike Scott – Great Scott
Best known as an exclamation escaping the mouth of Dr. Emmett Brown, Scott is reportedly in great shape to begin the season. Scott has a reputation as a purely midrange shooter but he may make us exclaiming “Great Scott” as we witness his new arsenal of lower post weapons. We won’t have to go Back to the Future to see this throwback of a player realize his potential.
DeMarre Carroll – Junkyard Dog
Like Paul Millsap, this guy is undoubtedly a workaholic. This nickname has stuck with the 6 year veteran for his entire career, as his hustle will attest. There will be no doggin’ in on the court this year for this scrappy fellow.
Elton Brand – Candyman
Candyman Brand. How could you go wrong with that? He’ll bring the goods to the court game in and game out as a pest to opposing big men. He’s been around the block a few time and knows the tricks to the trade. It will be sweet dreams to those that think they can step to the Candyman.
Gustavo Ayón – The Mexicutioner
Ayón can play both the power forward and the center. But wherever he lines up, he has the ability to overwhelm an opponent on both ends. Hawks fans may even be saying “Dwight Howard who?” by season’s end.
Pero Antić – Mash-adonia
The Hawks have replaced one no-nonsense Eastern European with another. While Zaza Pachulia will certainly be missed, you can count on Pero Antić to never back down from the likes of Kevin Garnett in the playoffs. True fact: his bald head is groomed and maintained to a be able to knock down a steel wall up to two feet in thickness (give or take 2 feet).
Jared Cunningham – Babyfaced Assassin
With Devin Harris now departing, we have another heir for reigning babyfaced Hawk. Like the rest of the roster, he may seem like a nice guy giving interviews to the media but this kid can ball. Taking him lightly will be the last mistake you ever make.
Shelvin Mack – Mack Attack
Return of the Mack! He performed well as a backup point guard late last season, so look for Shelvin to bring his Butler Bulldog attitude to back to NBA courts this season.
Topics: Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks, DeMarre Carroll, Dennis Schroder, Elton Brand, Gustavo Ayon, Jared Cunningham, Jeff Teague, John Jenkins, Kyle Korver, Lou Williams, Mike Scott, Paul Millsap, Pero Antic, Shelvin Mack