NBA Free Agency: Nickname Tracker
What a week of free agency it has been! With the new TV deal on the horizon, money was thrown around at an unprecedented level this year in an effort to lock up any assets for a “discount” compared to what the same player may fetch in 12 months. I could dive into the financials, but do you care? Probably not. I could statistic you do death about the impact these players will have, but that’s been analyzed into the ground already and is not exactly rocket science (adding talent makes you a better team, no matter the price tag). I’m choosing to evaluate the most important issue at hand: nicknames.
Here are a few suggestions for new nicknames as these players begin another chapter of their career in a new location.
DeAndre Jordan to Dallas Mavericks – Big D
Wes Matthews to Dallas Mavericks – Triple D
Nothing overly creative here, but two very applicable nicknames that I believe have staying power. Both “Big D” and “Triple D” refer to the city of Dallas, but one cannot help but notice their link to Jordan and Matthews specifically. “Big D” is good for a large man who goes by a name that starts with D (fun fact: his actual first name is Hyland). I also found it appropriate to give him the nickname of the city considering he was born there and played his college ball at College Station. Building on his past as an Aggie, his alma mater’s most recognizable athlete today is Johnny Manziel, a person who some consider a pretty Big D.
For Matthews, “Triple D” sums up his role perfectly: knock down three pointers and play defense. He is a valuable asset in the fact that he is very good at what he does, but he isn’t the do-everything type of star player that teams are built around.
DeMarre Carroll to Toronto Raptors – Junk Yard Hog
I love this signing for Canada’s finest, so I’m not adjusting much nickname wise to a player who was already known as “The Junk Yard Dog”. Toronto is widely known as “Hog Town”, so I’m simply making a location change to Carroll’s previous alter-ego. With DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry expected to handle the primary offensive responsibilities, look for Carroll to thrive in doing the dirty work that it takes to make this team a contender in the Eastern Conference.
Gary Neal to Washington Wizards – The Explorer
The Neal signing likely flew under your radar, but if I had to pick 10 NBA players to knock down a pull up jumper with my life on the line, he’s at least in the conversation. “The Explorer” will be playing for his fifth team in six seasons, a career path that earns him this nickname by itself. He did attend La Salle University for a short stint, so that also helps.
Robin Lopez to New York Knicks – Comic Con
He’s a nice piece and will like the pay day, but this noted comic book enthusiast was attracted to the Big Apple of one reason: it is home to the world’s largest comic book convention. Say what you will about the contract or the allure of playing in a big city, but Comic Con is one thing that no other team could offer. Of course, the running comic strip that is the Knicks organization makes this an apt name as well.
Rajon Rondo to Sacramento Kings – Monster
He’s reported to be a very smart individual and is an undoubted talent on the court, but he’s a tough person to deal with. He’s a monster on the court (remember his 17-12-7 average stat line during the 2011-2012 playoffs?) when he is tuned in, but that is a hit-or-miss proposition (back injury?). This nickname has unlimited potential, as it is obviously apt if (when) things go sideways in Sacramento, but also if things work out, as the “Boogie, Monster” headline opportunities are endless.
Paul Pierce to Los Angeles Clippers – Sob City
This may be a bit harsh, but I couldn’t resist. Pierce won a title with Doc Rivers in Boston and the two have seemed to carry an emotional tie ever since. Combine that with the fact that Pierce, who can’t jump over a phone book, enters town as Big D (see above) leaves, and lazy journalists won’t have to adjust the Lob City mantra much for 2015-2016. The Clippers have a less than sterling playoff reputation and if Pierce cannot prove to be the difference-maker in a loaded Western Conference, look for him to step away from the game sooner rather than later … via a tear-loaded news conference with Rivers by his side.
Photo via Getty
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