There are some questionable nicknames out there- Big Shot Bob, The Glove, and Wilt the Stilt come to mind.
There are some obvious nicknames- The Brow, The Beard, or King James.
There are some odd-ball nicknames- The Answer, The Worm, and The Zen Master.
There are some that practically require their own category- Sir Charles, Jesus Shuttlesworth, and White Chocolate.
And some are downright confusing and just about require an explanation: Big Fun, The Reign Man, and Hondo.
Then there are some all-time greats- Magic, The Admiral, The Iceman, Dr. J., The Dream, Manu.
Cultivating a nickname is serious undertaking. There are rules. First of all, it’s poor form to give yourself a nickname. You hear that Shaq? Shaq? I’m sorry . . . do you hear that Diesel, The Big Fella, Big Shaqtus, Shaq Daddy, Big Aristotle? (Aristotle. If O’Neal can spell Aristotle, then I might consider calling him that.)
That said you cannot give yourself a nickname:
I mention this because Keldon Johnson has been referred to “Big Body” which is his own saying. It may not be what he wants to be called. In fact it may just be his catchphrase as opposed to his desired nom de guerre. You know, like “Hibachi.”
By design or inadvertently, the self-nick-name does occur, but let’s not encourage it.
Also, since Sean has used “big body” to describe Boris Diaw, perhaps the term should be eliminated from contention.
Secondly, utilizing personal information about the recipient can be an advantage. David Robinson was in the Navy which makes “The Admiral” personal while elevating the subject — after all, “Lieutenant (junior grade)” doesn’t have quite the ring to it.
Thirdly, a nickname allows for reflection of the namesake’s skill set.
Gregg Popovich has referred to Johnson as a “mustang,” which is a pretty tight reference. Plus, a Pounder recently referenced Johnson as “Mustang Sally.” Considering the definition of sally is “a sudden charge out of a besieged place against the enemy,” this could be right on the money.
Devon Birdsong also referred to Johnson as “Dumptruck” in his “What We Learned” on February 2nd.
There might literally be as many nicknames for Keldon as their are people talking about the young talented former Wildcat. Hey . . . wildcat?
Which leads to the most important aspect of adding a descriptor to one’s favorite player - the nickname must be celebrated by the fans.
So, dear, Pounders, let’s get this done as only the top fans of a franchise can.
Please submit (and rec) in the comments section. I will compile a list of the best and most rec’d and we’ll take a poll on Saturday.
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