Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The NBA to allow nicknames on jerseys? What's in a nickname?

What’s in a nickname?
by rick olivares

The NBA will allow teams to wear nicknames on the backs of their jerseys this season?

Reports released today have it that at least for one game this season, players will be allowed to wear their nicknames on the back of their playing jerseys.

While I think it is cool it is also another money making venture after the Latin Jerseys Night when teams wear “Los Suns” or “Los Bulls” and Retro Nights where players get their throwbacks on.

Nevertheless, this is playground stuff that’s going to bring a smile to many people’s lips including players, friends, and fans alike.

Think about it. If Edson Arantes do Nascimento can wear “Pele” or Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite can use “Kaka” then surely the same can be applied to NBA basketball.

New York Knicks:
Amar’e Stoudemire – Stat
Carmelo Anthony – Melo

Miami Heat:
Dwyane Wade – D-Wade
Ray Allen – Jesus, Sugar, Ray Ray or Shuttlesworth
LeBron James – King James
Chris Bosh – CB4

Los Angeles Lakers:
Kobe Bryant – Black Mamba
Pau Gasol – Picasso

Brooklyn Nets:
Kevin Garnett – KG
Paul Pierce – The Truth
Deron Williams – D-Will

Los Angeles Clippers:
Chris Paul – CP3

Oklahoma City Thunder:
Kevin Durant – K-Smoove

Dallas Mavericks:
Shawn Marion – The Matrix

On the other hand, not everyone has a cool handle that you’d like to wear:
Carlos Boozer – Booze
Andrew Bogut – The Bogey Man
Chris Anderson – The Birdman
Brian Cardinal – The Janitor
Derek Fisher – Fish
Eric Gordon – The Hobbit
Anderson Varejao – Sideshow Bob

I am not too sure that James Harden wants “The Beard” on his back. And I don’t think Chris Kaman wants “Captain Caveman” on his jersey either. And will Tony Parker wear “Mr. Longoria” on his shirt?

Methinks no.

But does everyone have a nickname or nom de guerre as bestowed upon them by sportscasters? If not, I don’t think only a few teammates will have their nicknames on the back.

But it is an interesting concept.

Would Ervin Johnson wear “Magic”?

Would Rafel Alston worn “Skip to My Lou”?

I know Julius Erving once wore “Dr. J” so why not? But let’s check it out:

Will Brian Scalabrine ever wear “White Mamba”?

What if Michael Jordan were around for this, would he wear “Air” or “G.O.A.T.”?

And will players like Bill Russell take affront to that?

I am very much interested to see where this progresses. It sounds like a gimmick and maybe it is. But admit it, for a moment there, this takes you back – if you did ball – to those playground days.


  1. From ESPN, it's unusual but not unprecedented.
    It was done before, as evidenced in here:
    Anyway, Duncan would prefer TD or Duncan as against The Big Fundamental.

  2. Was Michael Jordan once called GOAT, suggesting, maybe, that his myth has reached that of Manigault's? Whoa! I think some would consider that blasphemous. haha