The 5 Best Nickname Ideas for This Season's Golden State Warriors
Nicknames have always been a major part of NBA basketball. Individual players enjoy the bulk of the creative monikers—like "King James" for LeBron James and "The Durantula" for Kevin Durant—but entire teams have occasionally earned some pretty clever handles, too.
The Detroit Pistons of the early '90s were dubbed the "Bad Boys" for their gritty and often downright dirty defensive tactics. Those Pistons even had bylaws to go with their apt nicknames; those were known as the "Jordan Rules," which basically mandated the attempted decapitation of Michael Jordan anytime he left the ground.
The L.A. Lakers of the '80s earned the "Showtime" label, partly for their flashy fast breaks, but also in honor of their Hollywood home.
Even the Golden State Warriors, who never enjoyed consecutive championship wins like the aforementioned nicknamed squads did, earned their own catchy label a couple decades ago. "Run TMC" was comprised of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin. Those three Warriors, under recently inducted Hall of Famer Don Nelson, made the run-and-gun style all the rage in the Bay Area during the early '90s.
Unfortunately, that era didn't last long, although the somewhat fruitless effort to outscore opponents without playing defense persisted for another 20 Warriors seasons.
Twenty years is a long time. Too long, really, to go without a decent nickname. So let's try on the five following nickname ideas for this season's Golden State Warriors to see how they fit.
The Downtown Dubs
A good nickname ought to, at the very least, describe what the team's all about. Last year, the Golden State Warriors ranked No. 2 in the NBA in three-point field-goal percentage at 38.8 percent. Only the San Antonio Spurs were more efficient from beyond the arc.
This season, look for the Dubs to actually increase their attempts from long distance. With Andrew Bogut and David Lee both being capable passers inside, look for a hefty number of possessions to begin with a quick post-entry delivery. From there, either of the Warriors' two big men are good enough scorers on the block that they're likely to command frequent double-teams. That'll lead to kick-out passes aplenty, and a whole bunch of downtown damage.
The Warriors are equipped with an embarrassment of perimeter riches. Stephen Curry is among the best shooters alive, with a career mark of 44 percent from three, good enough for third all-time. Second-year man Klay Thompson shot the lights out last season, to the tune of 41 percent from three-point land. And Brandon Rush is also back this season, along with his 45 percent three-point accuracy rate.
Toss in Richard Jefferson—who's been above 40 percent from long range the last two seasons—and rookie Harrison Barnes, and there's no reason the Warriors shouldn't add to last year's ninth-ranked 20.5 attempts from behind the the three-point line.
It'll be "bombs away" all season for the Downtown Dubs in 2012-13.
The 'We Rationally Calculate' Warriors
I know, this one doesn't quite have the same ring as 2007's "We Believe" Warriors nickname did, but hear me out.
The magical, Baron Davis-led playoff upset of the Dallas Mavericks five years ago was all about belief—having no reasonable basis to expect success, but believing it would happen anyway. That team, seeded eighth and having just sneaked into the postseason, had no business knocking off the No. 1 seed. But it happened anyway.
Belief is exciting. But because, by its very nature, belief isn't supported by facts, it's only a matter of time before reality sets in, statistics start to normalize and everything comes crashing down. The 2007 team crumbled after one more season, leaving fans of the franchise wondering what to believe in.
That's why this year's team could be called the "We Rationally Calculate" Warriors; the front office—led by owner Joe Lacob, GM Bob Myers and legend in residence Jerry West—have crunched the numbers, analyzed the videotape and constructed a well thought out, downright sensible roster. It may not be as intoxicating as believing, but reasonable calculation typically yields better results.
No Monta, No Problems
This one's more of a mantra than a nickname, but it's a pretty appropriate description of how the Golden State Warriors' offense is going to function in 2012-13.
I know it's still unpopular to bash the departed Monta Ellis, but the fact is that the offense (and the team as a whole) is better off without No. 8.
Instead of pounding the dribble and running down the shot clock before hoisting up contested jumpers, the Warriors—sans Ellis—will be able to move the ball a little bit this year. That'll result in better spacing, more open shots and improved team basketball.
Plus, with everyone getting more touches, and not standing around waiting for Ellis to do something, players will be more engaged in the game. That leads to better defensive commitment, too.
And besides, who doesn't like a 15-year-old Diddy reference?
Thunder Down Under
Before the Warriors landed Andrew Bogut, their interior defense probably felt more like a light drizzle. Or maybe a fog is more appropriate—visibly present, but easy to walk right through.
But in 2012-13, Bogut will be manning the middle (ankle health permitting). The Aussie will represent a much more intimidating presence down low, and hailing from the land Down Under, the nickname fits the Warriors and their most important player perfectly.
There's another angle that makes the nickname work, too. The Warriors' former mascot, Thunder, has been conspicuous in his absence since 2008. It's possible the introduction of a certain Oklahoma City team made the mascot's name confusing and he was axed for that reason.
Of course, it's also possible that ownership saw fit to bury Thunder, who was sort of an embarrassingly bad idea to begin with, beneath Oracle arena. You know, down under it.
The Choir Boys
"The Choir Boys" works for the Warriors on every level.
First of all, this year's Dubs are solely comprised of solid citizens. There's hardly a tattoo or arrest record on the whole roster. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and David Lee, just to name a few, all grew up wealthy and have squeaky clean images.
Plus, the man giving orders to the outfit is literally a pastor. Coach Mark Jackson led a congregation at his True Love Worship Center in Van Nuys, Calif. for years. He's been an ordained minister since 1997. So Jackson is no stranger to preaching.
With a real pastor and a whole bunch of good Samaritans on the roster, Jackson will truly be preaching to the choir this season.