POWER RANKINGS: The 16 Best Kristaps Porzingis Nicknames Currently In Circulation
Back in April, the pervading wisdom was that the New York Knicks rolled the dice when they drafted a 7'3" stringbean of a 19-year-old whose only body of work was 73 Spanish League games (and 92 in the Euro Cup) and a few team workouts. "Raw," "a project," "soft," "Frederic Weis part II" -- the critics of Phil Jackson's 4th-overall selection were loud and clear in their pessimism about the Latvian stretch-four.
Fast-forward to today, and Kristaps Porzingis is stuffing his doubters' feet firmly in their stupid mouths.
Through ten games, Porzingis has averaged 11.4 points to go with 8.5 boards and 1 block per game, tangibly affecting the way teams prepare for the Knicks while earning the public praise of teammates, fans and high-profile players around the league. "He's a great player," Anthony Davis said after the Pelicans loss at MSG on Sunday. "From what I've seen so far, he's pretty damn good," Kobe Bryant told the media after the Lakers fell to the Knicks in similar fashion.
The kid seems destined for stardom; that's the not the problem. The problem is what the hell do we call him? "Kristaps Porzingis"? Sorry dude, but that name sounds like an off-brand pagan deity. We need something better. Something catchy. He needs a real nickname that sticks, and so far, he hasn't liked what we've offered up.
All Porzingis has said (in terms of his nickname) is that he wants to be known by his initials and number, so "KP6" -- which is boring, arbitrary and sounds like the codename for a missing Soviet submarine. We're not calling you that, buddy.
WHY IT WORKS: Hilarious, intimidating, invokes old-world European evil Santa character, coincides with the release of a Christmas horror film of the same name.
WHY IT'S LAME: Has literally nothing to do with basketball, makes him seem like a mean dude (which he absolutely isn't), no one would ever actually use it after December.
WHY IT WORKS: Gives him that street cred he so desperately wants, makes sense he's from "the rest of the world," would be insanely fun to scream every time he blasted a putback dunk on six people.
WHY IT'S LAME: Feels kind of forced, doesn't utilize his funky birth-name.
WHY IT WORKS: He's a shooter, slingshots are cool, has "zing" in it.
WHY IT'S LAME: Sounds like something his gym teacher would've called him, can't imagine typing that word in earnest.
WHY IT WORKS: He kinda looks like C-3PO, the new "Star Wars" sequels will begin rolling out in his rookie year, fits his requirements for numbers and letters.
WHY IT'S LAME: He'd have to change his number to "30" for this to work, also very unintimidating.
12) "DARTH ZINGIS"
WHY IT WORKS: Also works will new "Star Wars" movies, intimidating, uses most fun part of his name.
WHY IT'S LAME: Might as well start calling everyone "Darth" and then adding a part of their last name, doesn't fit his image.
WHY IT WORKS: He's big (like Godzilla), has "Por" in it.
WHY IT'S LAME: Sounds too much like "Priscilla."
WHY IT WORKS: He seems to throw down at least one "SportsCenter Top 10" putback slam every game, is original.
WHY IT'S LAME: "Tapdunks" isn't an actual thing people say, plus he's got more to his game than just the putbacks.
9) "ZINGIS KHAN"
WHY IT WORKS: Intimidating, includes the part of his last name everyone has already been saying.
WHY IT'S LAME: Too much going on, plus Genghis Khan was a mass murder.
8) "FETTY TAP"
WHY IT WORKS: Satiates his obvious need to sound "hip," ironic because he's a gangly white guy from Eastern Europe.
WHY IT'S LAME: The "taps" in his first name is actually pronounced "tops," plus he's a gangly white guy from Eastern Europe.
WHY IT WORKS: Porzingis will love the Jay-Z reference, is a subtle jab at the Brooklyn Nets, fun to say.
WHY IT'S LAME: Sounds stupid, the reference isn't immediately clear.
WHY IT WORKS: A creative reimagining of the overused first-initial-hyphen-beginning-of-last-name trope, simple, uses actual parts of his name, appropriate for a young player, "krispy" things are good.
WHY IT'S LAME: Unintimidating to the point of condescension, makes him sound like an R&B singer.
WHY IT WORKS: Strong, bold, catchy, efficient (almost uses his entire last name).
WHY IT'S LAME: Not everyone likes having the expectation of being the creator of the universe heaped on them after 10 NBA games, he's not THAT good.
4) "THE PORZ AUTHORITY"
WHY IT WORKS: Invokes New York's most New Yorky municipal facility, sounds kinda badass.
WHY IT'S LAME: The Port Authority bus terminal is where you go to see old ladies vomit into trash cans, not sure what it's supposed to mean.
WHY IT WORKS: People already are using it, short, simple, doesn't pigeonhole him into one style of play, fun to say.
WHY IT'S LAME: Corny, he doesn't like it.
2) "THE FLAMINGO"
WHY IT WORKS: Posting and Toasting (SB Nation's Knicks' blog) likes it, he looks like a flamingo, is a subtle tip-of-the-hat to Larry Bird (another goofy-looking white dude who could score).
WHY IT'S LAME: Have you ever seen a flamingo?, Kristaps Porzingis has probably never seen a flamingo.
WHY IT WORKS: He's a shooter who'll average 20-plus points a game at some point, it rhymes and it's simple.
WHY IT'S LAME: Sounds like something John Sterling would call him.
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