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Nicknames

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Chris Broussard offers his top ten NBA nicknames. It’s Insider content, so I’ll summarize:

  1. Doctor J
  2. Magic Johnson
  3. Air Jordan
  4. Earl the Pearl Monroe
  5. Human Highlight Film
  6. Pistol Pete
  7. Sir Charles
  8. King James
  9. Hakeem the Dream
  10. The Reign Man (apparently, this is Shawn Kemp)

Honorable mention goes to The Matrix, The Answer, Half Man / Half Amazing, The Admiral, Muggsy (Bogues), Diesel, and Clyde (Walt Frazier). This list seems somewhat confused to me. Air Jordan was a fantastic player, but a totally forgettable nickname. If, for example, that was the nickname of the fourth-best shooting guard of the mid-1990s would anyone think it noteworthy today? Frankly, I doubt it. Ironically, I think the Jordan derivative “Air Canada” for Vince Carter is both better than Jordan’s nickname and better than Half Man / Half Amazing. Somehow, my favorite current NBA nickname — The Truth — has gone missing from this list. Human Highlight Film (I’d thought this was reel) is actually a downright bad nickname. It’s too long and, really, you’d feel like an idiot actually saying it — ‘Nique deserves better than that.

It seems to me that Texas NBA fans need to get better at devising nicknames. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, Dirk Nowitzki, and Josh Howard are all laboring away without a single cool nickname among them.

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