Air Jordan. Doctor J. Larry Legend. Magic Johnson. Pistol Pete. A good nickname inspires awe and ensures that you'll be enshrined in the Pantheon of Basketball Legends. A bad nickname, on the other hand, is like genital herpes: It's a stain on your life that can never be removed. Here's a list of what I consider to be the worst basketball nicknames of all time.

Big Country: According to Wikipedia, Bryant Reeves was was nicknamed "Big Country" for his size and the fact that he grew up in the very small Oklahoma town of Gans. According to me, he's called "Big Country" because he almost single-handedly ruined basketball in Canada (which is a big country). Just an embarrassing, shapeless, blob of a man. Vancouver will never forgive him.

Big Country
There's your 6th overall draft pick, folks...

Buffet of Goodness: Channing Frye gave himself this nickname to highlight his all-around skills. In doing so, he committed one of the cardinal sins of nicknaming: You cannot nickname yourself (unless you're Gilbert Arenas). Giving yourself a nickname comes off as cheesy and arrogant, and it usually only catches on in a sarcastic way. Especially when you choose something as retarded as "Buffet of Goodness."

Captain Crunch: Jalen Rose got this nickname when he was leading the 2004-05 Toronto Raptors to a 33-win season. How many games would they have won without his crunch-time heroics? Probably around 27, which is how many they won after he was traded during the 2005-06 season. The name is also synonymous with a cereal that turns to goop in milk and tastes like soggy cardboard. Blech.

Captain crunch
Yeah, real cool nickname...

Du: No offense to Chris Duhon, but I wouldn't want a nickname that can be used as a synonym for bodily waste.

Grandmama: Larry Johnson became famous for dressing up as his eldery grandmother to sell Converse products. Think about that for a second: A man dressed in drag, old lady drag, and got called "grandmama" while playing professional basketball. How was that ever considered cool?

Kobe Stopper: Remember Ruben Patterson? Yeah. I didn't think so. And it makes no sense. Look, I hate Kobe Bryant, but even I have to admit there's no such thing as a "Kobe Stopper." You might as well call him "Santa Claus" or "The Leprechaun."

The Black Mamba: Prior to the 2005-06 season, Kobe Bryant decided to give himself a nickname, but he screwed it all to hell. First, he broke the rule that says you can't give yourself a nickname. Second, he chose a name that sounded like a professional wrestling villain. Third, he ripped it off directly from Kill Bill: Volume 2. And fourth, the character he ripped it off from was a woman. And finally, it's a goddamn poisonous snake. Way to enhance your image, Kobe. This nickname has spawned countless jokes, and you'll notice that Kobe has never, ever mentioned it again.

The Mailman: I don't know about you, but every mailman I've ever seen has been a pasty, bloated white guy who never gets out of his truck and won't deliver the mail if there's a car parked within 20 feet of the mailbox. This does not inspire awe.

I, for one, am not impressed.

The Spider: How did John Salley get this nickname? Apparently because he has the proportional sucking ability of a spider.

TP: Tony Parker is so unremarkable, the best the nicknamers could do was string his initials together and create a nickname you can truly wipe your ass with.

He is kinda soft like toilet paper...

Zeke From Cabin Creek: This was Jerry West's nickname before he became known as "Mr. Clutch." It not only has nothing whatsoever to do with basketball, it also reminds me of the hillbilly rapists from Deliverance. And that's not a good thing. Even worse, it's not even technically accurate; West actually grew up in Cheylan, West Virginia.


Fun Nickname Fact #1: Baron Davis holds the world record for most nicknames attributed to a single basketball player. His nicknames include: Baron, BD, B-Diddy, B-Dazzled, Boom Dizzle, Bulletproof, and Too Easy. Seriously, does anybody need seven nicknames?

Fun Nickname Fact #2: Rik Smits stood 7'4" and was known as "The Dunking Dutchman." However, he averaged only 6.1 RPG for his career. There were games -- critical playoff games -- in which he would pull down only one or two rebounds. And he was 7'4". I'm sorry, but how is that even possible?!

Fun Nickname Fact #3: Coach Don Nelson started calling Sarunas Jasikevicius "Jazzy Cabbages" because he couldn't pronounce Sarunas' last name.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Re: Grandmama, actually Larry Johnson used to be the pitchman for Converse, not Reebok. Check it out here:

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Whooops! You're totally right.

Blogger B-Will said...
Oh man, where did you find all of those? Some of them made me bust a gut while making outbound phone calls. As a long time jazz fan, let me tell you, some of the mail got lost, and sometimes it got delivered. So in a way it was the perfect nickname, just like the mail.

Who is Brian McCormick, and why is he making videos?

Blogger Wormboy said...
OK, I agree with a lot of them. Very funny stuff! A couple of things occur to me that you should mention:
1) "The Mailman" is a good nickname because "he always delivers." Surely you have to mention the "he always delivers" bit in there, if only so you can mock when he didn't? Besides, it sets up the greatest bit of trash-talking in NBA history, when Scottie Pippen quipped that "the mailman don't deliver on Sunday."

2) Gotta give a nod to "the Iceman," if only because of the silly promotional posters! Oh, and it lets you reminisce about the "Finger roll" comments in those old barber shop ads. Besides, Gervin is the man.

3) Oh, and if I recall correctly, isn't a black mamba a poisonous snake? So Kobe nicknamed himself a "black poisonous snake?" Good public relations call for a guy who was accused of a black on white rape. As the French would say "Avec delicatesse, Kobe."

Hey, on the personal side, you should try to keep these up more during the summer. Great stuff here, and surely the US basketball team provided some material? I enjoy these every day, and I'd like to see more. Surely you feel obligated to entertain me daily, right?

Blogger Pete Fresh said...
Tony Parker's rap alias is Tony P, so in comparison TP is clever.

Blogger LooseChange said...
how about boobie gibson?

here in phoenix, we got ra-ra and we just lost crazy eyes/dirty. i fully admit i would hate to meet any guy called crazy eyes or dirty on a basketball court, or in a dark alley for that matter. ra-ra, on the other hand. makes me think of nothing but pom-poms.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Other ridiculous/awful nicknames that try wayyy too hard:

The Big Ticket

The Human Highlight FIlm

Big Nasty

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I refuse to believe that Baron Davis has more nicknames than Shaq.

Blogger Nugg Doctor said...
And might I add "Thunder" Dan Majerle to this list? What a lame ass! Dan Majerle has never been associated with causing thunder in his entire life. Furthermore, he was an outside shooter with no handles and even less springs!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Kobe was also known as;

Ocho, Kobe wan kanobi, Jedi Knight, Kobe (ala Baron), kb8, and kb24

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Kobe was also known as;

Ocho, Kobemister, Kobe wan Kanobi, KB8, KB24, Kobe beef, The amazing Mr. Bryant, Katatonic,

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think you should include room for every nickname of "[Player's initials][Player's Jersey #]." It's just as lazy as the whole T-Mac, D-Wade, etc. formula, but much, much more retarded.

Except for Andrei Kirilienko's "AK47." That one's pretty sweet.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Very funny. I've never compared Tony Parkers TP to toilet paper.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
What about Jerome James, aka Big Snacks

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"TP: Tony Parker is so unremarkable, the best the nicknamers could do was string his initials together and create a nickname you can truly wipe your ass with."

I seriously peed my pants when I read this!!!!!!!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
brad -- As a Karl Malone fan, I refused to make any "sometimes the mailman didn't deliver" jokes. It would hurt my heart too much.

dave -- I'll do my best to amuse you. It's all I think of at night. Well, that and Gwen Stefani's luscious breasts. (P.S. I thought "Iceman" was cool.)

pete fresh -- Tony P? No, seriously?

loosechange -- I admit, boobie is bad, but it makes me think of one of my favorite how bad could it be?

anonymous #1 -- I agree with Big Ticket and Big Nasty...but Human Highlight Film was actually cool. For the 80s.

anonymous #2 -- I don't count all of Shaq's nicknames because dude just kept giving them to himself. That's like padding the stats.

nugg doctor -- If you had shared a locker room with Dan and experienced first hand his mighty flatulence, you too would call him "Thunder."

anonymous #3 -- Don't forget Kobe was also called "Stupid rat bastard I hate so much I bathe in goat blood just to curse his name." I know. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

riley -- Hm. You have a point. I probably should have added a generic description for that lazy-ass nicknaming method. If that's the best nickname they can come up with for you, you obviously don't deserve one.

paul -- Maybe not...but I'm sure you've wanted to wipe your ass with him. I mean, just once?

nick sincere -- But see, that's not a real nickname. It was created to make fun of him. And anything that makes fun of Jerome James is by its very nature a good thing.

alexandra -- That's great! But just so you know, Basketbawful is not responsible for any damage incurred by your underwear while you are visiting the site.

Blogger Pete Fresh said...
It is actually Tony P. Apparently he's kinda cool in the French hip-hop scene.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I remember Pete Vescey calling Bill Laimbeer "Stale Ale" (you know, as in "lame beer"). I thought that was just a horrible nickname. That prick deserved a better nickname than that.

And Dave - yeah, that Pippen quote (about the mailman not delivering on Sundays) is one of the all time great sports quotes, not just a great NBA quote. Those 2 missed free throws by the Mailman at the end of Game 1 (1997 Finals) probably altered the course of NBA history.

And Kobe was also called "Show-be" by Hubie Brown. I think Hubie was trying to give him a flashy name, but I like it because I use it as a derogitory name, as in Kobe always has to be the center of attention, like all one-dimensional gunners are.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
pete fresh -- Being cool in the French hip-hop scene is kind of like being president of the Chess Club. I'm just sayin'.

80's nba -- Laimbeer actually had some good nicknames that represented his extreme prickishness. My two favorites were "The Prince of Darkness" and "His Heinous." You should check out his bio on It's classic. Here's the best quote: "He was punched by some of the league's best players, including Robert Parish, Bob Lanier, Larry Bird and Charles Barkley. 'We don't like him that good,' Bird once told Sports Illustrated."

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"One thing I could do ... was finger roll"

Gotta see the ad with George "The IceMan" Gervin. Sweet.

Besides, the ad features Tim "Gays make my anus itch" Hardaway.

And the crowning glory? The "Superfly" soundtrack. Oh, yeah.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hey, and what about Rodman? "The Worm" It's perfect! He's so eerie.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I almost forgot...

I stumbled on this - apparantly Laimbeer could also be called "Sleestak". The internet movie database has him listed as playing a sleestak in an episode of the tv show "Land Of The Lost". Check it out here:
(Look at the last bullet point on the page).

That's almost worth getting the first season of that horrible show just to see him. His acting there couldn't be any worse than when he did his flopping routine in games.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This blogger sounds like a bitter, unintelligent man that is jealous of many basketball players because he can't be them. But, obsessed enough to spend many hours of his life writing about them.

Blogger Unknown said...
Your wrong, very wrong in fact. Shaq has at least a dozen memorable nicknames. Baron Davis doesn't even get into the conversation with 7. Daryl Dawkins has at least 12 as well. Check yourself and shut down this site in shame.

Anonymous KHayes666 said...
I now need to clean my desk after spitting out my drink....may need to get a new printer too, hit it dead center.

Why? "Tony Parker gave himself a nickname you can truly wipe your ass with"

I almost was unable to type this all out because I'm laughing so hard