Some of the best athletes of all time are remember to most by a name other than their own. Magic, Tiger, The Golden Bear, Primetime, Pistol Pete, The Refrigerator, and many other Hall of Famers will forever be known by these great nicknames.
It seems to me that the latest generation of athletes are without the iconic nicknames of the past. Some of today's best known nicknames are either self-given (The Black Mamba, The Big Aristotle) or frankly subpar (We really can't do any better than Superman for every dominant big man?). So I took it upon myself to find a few fitting nicknames for some of the greatest athletes of my generation. Feel free to leave a comment on your feelings about my picks, or if you have ideas of your own!
I give you Thor, the God of Thunder
Durant is by far the best young player in the game. And after leading the league in scoring last year at 22 years old, the best we can do is Durantula? In the words of the immaculate Sir Charles Barkley, that is just "turrible."
My Pick: Thor. He is the best player for a team named the Thunder. He is the God of Thunder.
Chaos N. Suh
Let's be honest, trying to pronounce this guys name leaves us all feeling like David Stern announcing that the Timberwolves drafted Ndudi Ebi in the 2003 NBA Draft. So why not shorten it and replace it with something easier to pronounce?
My Pick: Chaos N. Suh. Its so much easier to say, and when you say it all together (Chaos Ensue) it sounds too cool to be true.
He has yet to make an appearance in the NBA, but when he does he is going to be a media circus, both here and overseas. So we need to be ready for him.
My Pick: El Nino. He's young, he's Spanish, need I say more?
Patrick Willis absolutely terrifies me. And I don't have to play against him. So I hope this doesn't displease him at all. But with Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher getting up there in age (yet still terrifying me), Willis will most likely be the best linebacker in the league for the next few years.
My Pick: The Black Hole. Usually, this is a negative nickname for a ball hog, but with him its quite the opposite. He is a ball hawk. Anyone with the ball anywhere near him seems to just be sucked into his grasp.
Of course, the man who has taken NBA by storm this season. And just for the record, I hate the Blakers and The Poster Child. The just seem too forced. But simply the picture posted here is reason enough to give the kid a nickname.
My Pick: The Truth. It not only sounds badass, but it kind of illustrates how refreshing Griffin has truly been. He is the first top overall pick in a long time that has immediately lived up to the hype (even Derrick Rose took a year or two to truly dominate).
The Saint Paul Savior
He is without a question the best catcher in the game, and somehow has managed to win two batting titles and an MVP at a position that is as tolling on the body as any in sports. Maybe he is just too...Minnesotan to have a nickname. But I'm going to try to give him one anyway.
My Pick: Average Joe, The Saint Paul Savior. The "Average" is no knock on his game, but rather paying homage to his great batting average year in and out. And to the fine people of the greater Twin Cities area, he is the Savior they hope brings the Twins back to the World Series.
The Great White
He's arguably the best young white player in a league pretty much devoid of white stars. Sure he's stranded on a seemingly desolate squad, but his ridiculous stats garner him enough individual attention that he needs a good nickname.
My Pick: The Great White. He's big and white, so that fits. And if you've ever watched him rebound, you really don't want to get in his way, kind of how you don't want to get in the way of a hungry shark.
Pujols is one of the best hitters in the game and is probably on his way to best hitters of all time. He doesn't need a nickname that will be used every time you mention him, but something that can be used once in awhile.
My Pick: The Pope. A career-long Cardinal (to this point) and is clearly their on-field leader and face of the franchise. This is a name earned, not just given to him.
Yes, I know he is extremely inconsistent and probably overrated, but it just feels like a guy who can break into a SportsCenter Top 10 as easily as him needs a little something extra to go with his name.
My Pick: Freak Evans. It can just kind of replace his first name, but only when he does something ridiculous and athletic. Can't you just hear Stuart Scott going through an otherwise uneventful King's highlight and then: "FREAK EVANS with the reeeediculous slam on (enter poor victim's name here)!"
Quick, name an American soccer player... If you named someone other than Landon Donovan, you are likely considered and elite soccer mind in the states. This guy is USA soccer right now.
My Pick: Captain America. Enough said.
For years, Manu has been the among the best foreign players (couldn't think of a good nickname for Dirk), and continues to wow me with his amazingly nonathletic athleticism. He has successfully conquered the NBA in the most curious way possible.
My Pick: Conquistador
Remember how I said Patrick Willis truly frightened me? That was if I were an NFL player heading his way. Brock Lesnar scares the living daylight out of me. Like, when I'm in bed and I hear a noise I pray to God that its the Boogey Man in the flesh and not Lesnar coming to eat me in a single bite.
My Pick: The Hulk. I'm pretty sure if you painted him green he might actually be the Hulk.