What's in an NBA name for the Boston Celtics?
The NBA usually has a better idea to improve the game, but not this time. They want to allow players to put a nickname on the back of their jersey.
Obviously this opens up a can of worms. Indeed, some nicknames are better left in the locker room. We doubt that "Stinky" will be popular unless put to a fan vote.
If players are forced to come up with colorful nicknames, the handle market will face stiff competition when "Number One" wears number 73.
Ray Allen, formerly of many teams, would revert to his handle from his movie hit, "Shuttlesworth," which is hardly a nick but more like an encyclopedia. If he went by the character's first name, it would only be blasphemy for those who remember the movie He Got Game.
Allen is in the forefront of those who want to ditch their birthnames and family ties. How many black men in the NBA would dump their roots?
When nicknames shorten the burden of long names, we would laud the effort. Kris Humphries-Kardashian before his divorce was a case in point.
We will enjoy seeing Kris running up and down the court with "Hump" on his back. Shades of Quasimodo.
Jared Sullinger's troubles with girlfriends and the law will "Sully" his name for all time. Whether he will sully the Celtics only time will tell.
Already we miss Kevin Garnett whose jersey shall read "Big Ticket" and Paul Pierce whose backside reveals "The Truth."
The plain fact is that Rajon Rondo has no nickname, as befits him. Rondo will always be Rondo, though the pressure will mount to put "Savior" on his back.