Nicknames seem to be a lost art form. I was going to assemble a list of the best nicknames ever, and I realized almost all of the classics are players who retired long ago.
With that in mind, I sought out to find the best nicknames in sports today. No legends like Sweetness or Magic, just current players.
The following are the 25 best current athletes' nicknames. Some are here for their humor, others their intimidation, others for how well they suit a player. Heck some of them are just plain cool.
It's beautiful in its simplicity.
The Candy Man was a popular song by Sammie Davis Jr., but he actually didn't write it. The song was originally from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. You probably remember the lyric, "the candy man can."
Well when it comes to blocking shots and rebounding, the Camby Man can.
Flash has been a popular nickname through the years. The Red Sox had Flash Gordon, and I actually think this one would be a nice fit for Chris Johnson (I hate CJ2K).
As it is though, Wade's earned the moniker Flash with his blazing fast moves on the basketball court.
The Firm of BenJarvus Green-Ellis is currently laying down the law for the Patriots in New England.
The nickname serves two purposes: Firstly, it saves Pats fans from needlessly spewing a name that really doesn't roll off the tongue very well. Secondly, it leaves no doubt who's running the show at running back.
The Firm is not to be messed with.
The name's been with Pierce since his days ballin' out in L.A. as a youngster. It mandates a pretty high level of play to have people call you The Truth, and Pierce has met the challenge.
He's led the Celtics his whole career, even after being stabbed in Boston. Instead of seeking employment elsewhere, Pierce stuck it out on a bad team and eventually was rewarded with a championship.
Truth be told, Pierce is on his way to the Hall of Fame.
Notice there's no nickname in this slide's title? That's because the receiver formerly known as Johnson legally changed his name to Ochocinco.
The nickname stuck so well, it's not a nickname anymore.
It doesn't make any sense to me, and I still think it's an awesome nickname. That should tell you something right there.
He's fast. He's Cuban. Need I say more?
It's perfect. He runs. In fact lately, he's been running very well.
I can picture Raiders fans now..."Who's house? Run's House!"
Berkman gets credit for having two viable nicknames. Yes, he does actually look like fat Elvis, so that makes sense.
I have no idea how he got the Big Puma nickname, but it stuck and people seem to like it.
I can't think of a better nickname for a battering ram running back named Barber with dreadlocks flying out from his helmet.
The perfect marriage of his real name and his playing style.
It makes sense without making sense, if that makes any sense.
I've also heard this attributed to Troy Polamalu, and it suits either one of them.
Victorino's certainly earned it as the Hawaiian-born center fielder for the Phillies. His blazing speed on the basepaths is intimidating enough, without any sort of nickname.
I just can't wait until there's a Hawaiian pitcher, then we can call him the "Throwin' Samoan."
I don't know if there's ever been a better marriage of player and nickname. Obviously it describes his game perfectly. He is the most fundamentally sound player I've ever seen.
The beauty of it though, is that the nickname itself mirrors Duncan's personality on and off the court. It's not flashy, it's understated and it's 100 percent accurate.
Take a players initials and add his number to them. Simple enough. It can be hit or miss though (I'm not a big fan of AK47 for Andrei Kirilenko).
In CP3's case, it makes him sound like a basketball cyborg from the future. Considering he already plays like one, I love it.
He rules the real estate beneath the hoop, at least, he did in college.
Certain nicknames need no explanation.
I have no idea what it means, if it means anything at all. Still there's something about a monosyllabic exclamation like "Pronk!" that just works.
Dwight Howard dresses up as Superman for the Slam Dunk contest. Out of nowhere, Nate Robinson, who's about the size of a leprechaun, arrives on the scene and snatches a victory.
Superman has kryptonite, Howard has Krypto-Nate.
I don't know if this is his official nickname (aren't nicknames unofficial by definition?), but during last year's NCAA tournament, the former Butler Bulldog hit a clutch shot during his team's run to the title game. The announcer erupted in praise of the deadly shooter who looks like he's yet to hit puberty, calling him the Baby-Faced Assassin.
I don't know if the name stuck, but I hope it did. I love it.
After seeing the pint-sized running back lay the lumber on Shawne Merriman a couple of seasons ago, I'd say this one suits him just fine.
Durant is arguably the best player in the NBA, just imagine if he had eight arms to score with.
Now, maybe I'm biased since I've had Durant on my fantasy team since his rookie season. I've also named my team The Venomous Durantulas. I've also had this picture as my logo for two seasons.
OK, so it's sacrilegious. Big deal. The man brought the Saints their first ever Super Bowl title, and helped bring an entire city back from the brink after Hurricane Katrina.
His nickname has become so thoroughly etched in people's minds and hearts that most of us don't know that his first name is actually Carnell.
I don't know how it started, exactly when it started, or who started it, but I'm glad they did.
It's very rare that a transcendent player like Ortiz becomes an international superstar, yet people still refer to them by their nickname. Everybody knows who David Ortiz is, we all know his name, yet we all elect to call him Big Papi anyway.
How many great players can you think of whose nickname is ALWAYS used in lieu of their real one. Ortiz is the only one currently playing that I know of.
Chris Johnson—I'm sorry but CJ2K sucks. I like Flash, but it's already taken
Blake Griffin—He's on the fast track to superstardom as a rookie, all he needs is a good nickname to take the league by storm.
Dez Bryant—He's playing wide receiver in Dallas while wearing Michael "the Playmaker" Irvin's number. The kid needs a good nickname to build his legacy.
Michael Vick—How does a player who electrifies like he does not have a nickname?
Brian Wilson—As a World Series hero for the Giants, and with the best beard in sports, the guy needs a nickname to match. Just call him "the Beard.".Hey, I kinda like it. Fear the Beard!