Do you remember the XFL? If you do, then you probably remember one of their gimmicks at the time, which seemed kind of silly. Vince McMahon's answer to the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE was to create a WWE-inspired football league that did all of the things that the NFL eschews. Things like celebrations, smack talk, and nicknames on the backs of jerseys.
It appears that the NBA has finally taken the XFL's idea and may run with it. According to Sports Illustrated:
So long, James, Allen, Pierce and Garnett.
At least for one game, King James, Jesus Shuttlesworth, The Truth and KG may be headed to the backs of NBA jerseys.
Some members of the Miami Heat have been told the NBA is considering having them and the Brooklyn Nets wear "nickname jerseys'' in at least one of their four matchups this season. The NBA has not announced the plan, but teams apparently have been aware of the likelihood of it happening for at least several weeks.
"It shows growth in our league and it shows we do adapt to what's going on around us,'' said Allen, the Heat guard who plans to wear Shuttlesworth on his jersey, a nod to his character from the "He Got Game'' film. "And we're still kids, playing a kids' game. Even though we're now men playing a kids' game, we still remember where we come from. Everybody had a nickname and it's a way to let the fans in a little bit more.''
I think the key to this little experiment is limitation, much like throwback jerseys. Anything more and it becomes a cheap gimmick. On a limited scale however, I think it adds a fun dash of spice to the flavor of the NBA without reducing the product, and also gives us a chance to re-visit Nick Collison's excellent assignment of nicknames for the Thunder.
If you do not recall, here is what Collison has listed for us so far:
Kevin Durant: "Slim," "KD"
(note - Durant himself said that "Durantula" is NOT his nickname. That's a terrible nickname. Please, stop calling him that, SportsCenter, et al.)
Nick Collison: "Boog," "Los"
Derek Fisher: "Fish," "The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh"
Serge Ibaka: "Serge," "I-block-a," "Serge Protector"
Reggie Jackson: "October," "Better Basketball"
Kendrick Perkins: "Yung Hawg," "Perk"
Thabo Sefolosha: "Selfishlosha"
Russell Westbrook: "Russ," "Rusheed Wallace"
Since the Thunder have acquired a few new players, we need to help them out with some names that could ostensibly appear on their jerseys. Here are a few possibilities gleaned from around the web.
Jeremy Lamb: "The Shepherd," "Naps"
Perry Jones III: "PJIII," "Tyler"
Andre Roberson: "Animal Style"
Ryan Gomes: "Sir Ryan"
Hasheem Thabeet: "Hash"
What do you think?
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- The 2013 Eurobasket Concludes, France Wins Gold
- Kevin Durant is ranked No. 2 in the Sports Illustrated Top 100
- Russell Westbrook is ranked No. 5 in the Sports Illustrated Top 100
- Zorgon Recaps the Eurobasket on Phil Naessens