The Cavs Have Nicknames For Every Player On The Team, Including ‘Menace,’ ‘Killer,’ And ‘Captain America’

The Cleveland Cavaliers are on a bit of a roll right now, sitting comfortably in the second playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. That’s a far cry from where they were two months ago after losing six-straight games in early January and being under .500 on January 13 at 19-20. In addition to their recent success on the court, they’ve also seen a bit of team camaraderie within the locker room, as well, by giving each other nicknames.

“Guys around here are recognized by certain names,” said LeBron James. “You really can’t call Champ ‘J.J.’ He ain’t going to respond to it and everybody on the team knows.”

J.J., of course, is James Jones. But as it turns out, the only people within the locker room who refer to him by his initials or his birth name are media members. All of his teammates call him “Champ.”

Other Cavs nicknames include “Matrix” for Shawn Marion, “Menace” for Kevin Love, “Swish” for J.R. Smith, “Killer” for Mike Miller, and “Captain America” for Joe Harris. Each nickname has its own unique backstory, some of which the players are not sharing. But Harris’ does have an explanation, at least according to James Jones, er, Champ.

“If you were casting somebody as Captain America, you’d take Joe Harris in the role every time,” said Jones.

We’ll have to take his word on that.

The Cavs’ turnaround is certainly not due to the players giving each other nicknames. It’s more likely due to the in-season trade acquisitions of J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Timofey Mozgov, as well as Kyrie Irving playing like a man possessed. But team camaraderie certainly doesn’t hurt. LeBron James would likely tell you that himself, and you’d be wise to listen to him. After all, he is the King.