The Top 5 Worst NBA Nicknames

By: 08.07.12
Jalen Rose

Jalen Rose is the last relevant member of the Fab Five, parlaying his NBA career into an ESPN NBA analyst job and Grantland podcaster. Well, apparently Jalen doesn’t consider himself a part of the everyday media machine, even though he’s a part of the 30-second attention-grabbing proclamations that berate us through the television day in and day out. In a recent radio appearance, Rose took the opportunity to reproach the recently nicknamed “Fab Five” U.S. women’s gymnastics team under the guise of laziness, even if this was only a veiled defense of his own unique distinction as one of Michigan basketball’s five fabulous freshmen. Here’s what Jalen had to say:

“‘To use the nickname just points and screams of lazy journalism by the national media, that’s really what it is,’ Rose told Jamie Samuelsen of 97.1 FM in Detroit. ‘It’s no fault at all of the young gymnasts. But I really wish they would have come up with an even more creative tag for them and their gold medal pursuit.'”

The truth is, he’s probably right. Although “lazy journalism” might be a bit of an overstatement – I’d go with not-important-enough-to-actually-care-about journalism that happened to infringe upon Jalen Rose’s hallowed past. We like easy nicknames. Because, for whatever reason, regular names just aren’t good enough. Except instead of pooling our creative genius, we slap some half-assed analogy or pun or abbreviation on an athlete and run with it. If it’s catchy, even better.

Really, we should just let Shaq come up with everything. He named Paul Pierce “The Truth,” and his self-given titles of “The Big Aristotle” or “Shaqovich” just scratch the surface of his naming aptitude. But alas, that’s not how it happens, and we’re left with some pretty underwhelming NBA nicknames. Some have stuck, so they’ve fenagaled their way into basketball’s vocabulary, even if they’re of poor quality. In order to further air Jalen Rose’s dirty laundry, we’ve decided to bring you the worst of the worst. Remember, popular doesn’t equal good. It just equals popular.

I look forward to being summarily executed in the comments.

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