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1. Andrei “AK-47” Kirilenko, Utah Jazz:
This is just about as perfect as a nickname can be. It has everything, Kiilenko’s initials and the uniform number he chose to match his nickname, which refers to the famous assault rifle from his homeland of Russia. Perfection!
2. Rafer “Skip to My Lou” Alston, Houston Rockets:
There’s a beautiful absurdity to this nickname. Alston is just an average NBA player, but he’s a street ball legend from New York, where videos of his dribbling exhibitions are very popular on YouTube. He has as much street-cred as anyone in the league. So, why does this hip-hop culture hoopster have a nickname that refers to a dance from America's frontier period? I don’t know, but I love it.
3. Allen “The Answer” Iverson, Denver Nuggets:
I think I like this nickname so much because I sincerely dislike Iverson. It allows me opportunities to say that if Iverson is “The Answer” then the question must be - “Who is an undersized NBA shooting guard with an allergy to passing the ball that acts like a teenage gang member despite actually being a 33-year old multi-millionaire family man?”
4. Joel “The Vanilla Gorilla” Przybilla, Portland Trailblazers:
It’s really sad that such an incredibly catchy nickname is attached to such a mediocre player. The name is not particularly clever, in fact, it doesn’t even make much sense, but it rhymes and sounds good, and if Przybilla was better there could be some great marketing opportunities for him and his tongue-tickling nickname.
5. Kobe “The Rapist” Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers:
I admit that this nickname isn’t quite as popular as it was a few years ago, but it’s still one of the best because it’s feels so accurate, and even if it’s not entirely true, it sounds better than - Kobe “The spoiled rich athlete that cheated on his smoking hot wife with an emotionally disturbed young woman in a Colorado hotel” Bryant.
6. Gilbert “Agent Zero” Arenas, Washington Wizards:
I really don’t know what this nickname is about, but because it’s Arenas I assume that the Zero refers to how many assists he gets despite being a point guard, how many friends he has on the Wizards roster, what his chances are of ever being the league MVP even though he openly calls himself the best player in the game, or how many championship rings he’ll have when he retires.
7. Kenyon “K Mart” Martin, Denver Nuggets:
Some guys like having a nickname so much that they’ll use one even if the most obvious choice refers to a low-cost department store that is synonymous with cheap products. Today’s blue light special: Immature, overpaid, undersized power forwards with a history of injuries and disobedience.
8. Oleksiy “Stewie” Pecherov, Washington Wizards:
Some guys have created their own nickname and work extremely hard to get people to call them that. Other guys get a nickname thrust upon them that they don’t like and/or don’t understand. The latter is the case of Pecherov, a Ukrainian import that has a stunning resemblance to Stewie (you must watch this clip!), the evil baby on TV’s - Family Guy. Apparently, he didn’t get the reference and when his Wizards teammates showed him Family Guy, he became angry, which only made him look more like Stewie.
9. Daniel “Boobie” Gibson, Cleveland Cavaliers:
Because I have the same sense of humor as a ten-year old boy, having a nickname that is also the name of a lady’s breast is giggly-good fun to me. I love saying Boobie so much that whenever I’m watching a Cavaliers game on TV and he goes to the bench I change the channel, then I flip back every once in a while to see if he’s back in the game, hoping to hear the smooth voiced announcers say "Boobie" over and over again.
10. Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Boston Celtics :
I don’t know why it’s so charming for a 6’9, 280-lb. man to be known as a big baby, but it is. Davis is a colorful gentle giant and the name just works. He also seems to enjoy the moniker, which makes him even more likable. Could you imagine the temper tantrums that Kobe “The Rapist” Bryant would throw if people tried to call him “Big Baby”?