What's in an NBA Nick-Name?
Part V, I-L
For those who liked Parts I, II, III, IV - - here is
Part Five of the always interesting, always memory stoking, always
talking point relevant NBA NICK-NAMES.
Case in point: Boston Celtics forward Glen "Big
Baby" Davis is looking to change his image and he sees a first step
in that direction - - changing/dropping his nickname. What follows
are nick-names (and expressions) that have never changed
"I love Waltah" Tommy Heinsohn, Celtic broadcaster,
started the unofficial Walter McCarty fan club, coining the catch
phrase and creating a national fan club for the likable reserve
Celtic forward who now is an assistant coach at Louisville.
"The Iceman" George Gervin was locked into this name for his cool
and calm demeanor on the NBA court. One thing he could do was finger
roll. The Iceman was the man in the ABA. He was so good that the
Spurs stole him from the Virginia Squires through a harsh court
"Indiana Pacers" When the Indiana franchise came into existence in
1967 in the American Basketball Association, the owners said they
named the team Pacers because they intended to set the pace in
professional basketball. There was also the matter of the famous
Indianapolis 500 Raceway. And when Indiana joined the NBA in 1976,
the name Pacers went along.
"Jellybean" Joe Bryant is the father of Kobe. He played eight
seasons in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers and other teams. The
elder Brant had a fondness for jelly beans.
"Jones boys" K.C. & Sam Jones were the great Celtic backcourt in
the 60s. K.C. was "Mr. Defense," while Sam was "Mr. Offense."
"Kobe" LA star Kobe Bryant was named after a "Kobe" steak listed on
the menu of a Japanese restaurant or as the story goes for a
Japanese restaurant itself.
"Larry Legend" Boston Celtic superstar Larry Bird could do it all
on the basketball floor and was most deserving of this nickname.
"Los Angeles Clippers" In 1971, the City of San Diego lost its NBA
franchise when its team moved to Houston and became the Rockets.
The franchise that was originally the Buffalo Braves, from
1970-1978, moved to San Diego. The owners weren't too thrilled with
San Diego Braves as a name. So one of those name-the-team contests
was staged, and the winning entry was, you guessed it, Clippers.
That was because, once upon a time, lots of beautiful clipper ships
passed through the great harbor of San Diego. In fact, the Star of
India was still harbored in San Diego. In 1984. the franchise moved
to Los Angeles from San Diego and the name Clippers came along.
"Los Angeles Lakers" The Minneapolis Lakers made the move to L.A.
before the 1960 season and took with it its nickname that comes from
the state of Minnesota's motto: "the land of 10,000 lakes".
(to be continued)