Monday, May 5, 2008


Lately, I've had a fixation - you might even go as far as calling it a fetish - with athlete's nicknames. I've found the locker room to be a fascinating place of vicious taunts, random invitations, surprise revelations, golf talk, facial masks, political honesty, party trouble and athletic debate. All of these factors have also made the locker room a place where nicknames are born and forever attached to a star ... no madder how hard at times they might resist.

Nicknames are created by various people; teammates, coaches, sports journalists and even fans. Some athletes have more than one, some share their nickname with other athletes, some athletes have permanently adopted their nickname (ex. Babe Ruth, Magic Johnson) and others have turned their nicknames into a marketing platform (ex. Michael "Air" Jordan and the Air Jordan shoe).

I decided to do some research, digging and personal reporting of my own to come up with a list of some of the best athlete nicknames. Some are more creative than others, some are more popular than others, but they're all forever imbedded in sports pop culture.

Before I give you the list, I came up with a few of my own nickname suggestions:


"The Hair" – Sasha Vujacic
"God" – Phil Jackson
"Kazaam!" – Shaquille O'Neal
"Matt 'I'll hook-up with you if you're famous' Leinart" – Matt Leinart
"Perfection" – Tom Brady
"Perfection Jr." – Brady Quinn
"Barry 'I'm really weird but awesome' Zito" – Barry Zito
"D-Metro" David Beckham


"A.I." – Allen Iverson
"The Answer" – Allen Iverson
"Air Jordan" – Michael Jordan
"Apollo 33" – Jamario Moon
“A-Rod" – Andy Roddick
“A-Rod" – Alex Rodriguez (or "E-Rod" for the haters)
Babe” – George Ruth
"Basketball Jesus" – Larry Bird
"Batman and Robin" – Mike Piazza and Robin Ventura
“B-Diddy" – Baron Davis
"Becks" – David Beckham
"Big Aristotle" – Shaquille O'Neal
"Big Ben" – Ben Roethlisberger
"Big Ben" – Ben Wallace
"The Big Dipper" – Wilt Chamberlain
"Big Mac" – Mark McGwire
"Big Red" – Mark McGwire
"Big Papi" – David Ortiz
"The Big Ticket" – Kevin Garnett
"The Big Unit" – Randy Johnson
"The Birdman" – Tony Hawk
"The Black Mamba" – Kobe Bryant
"Broadway Joe" – Joe Namath
"Bug" – Tim Hardaway
"Capitan Canada" – Steve Nash
“Cat" – Cuttino Mobley
"The Chuckster" – Charles Barkley
"Colossus" – Mark McGwire
"Cool Joe" – Joe Montana
"CR7" – Cristiano Ronaldo
"C-Webb" – Chris Webber
"D-Fish" – Derek Fisher
"D-Wade" – Dwyane Wade
"The Dagger" – Kobe Bryant
"Fed-Ex" – Roger Federer
"The Flying Tomato" – Shaun White
"Franchise" – Steve Francis
"The Godfather" – Troy Aikman
"The Golden Boy" – Oscar de la Hoya
"The Golden Boy" – Tom Brady
“The Goods" – Lamar Odom
"The Great One" – Wayne Gretzky
"The Greatest" – Muhammad Ali
"Iron Mike" – Mike Tyson
“J-Kidd" – Jason Kidd
"J-Ho" – Josh Howard
"J-Chill" – Josh Childress
"J-Rich" – Jason Richardson
"J-Smoove" – Josh Smith
"The Juice" – O.J. Simpson
"K.G." – Kevin Garnett
"The L-Train" – Lebron James
“The Machine” – Sacha Vujacic
“Magic" – Earvin Johnson
"The Mailman" – Karl Malone
"Manu" – Emanuel Ginobili
"Melo" – Carmelo Anthony
"The Messiah" – Mark Messier
"The Minister of Defense" – Reggie White
"Neon" – Deion Sanders
"Obi One Ginobili" – Manu Ginobili
"Pacman" – Adam Jones
"Pelé" – Edson Arantes do Nascimento
"Peja" – Predrag Stojaković
"The President" – Reggie Bush
"Prince Charles" – Charles Barkley
"Primetime" – Deion Sanders
"Purple Jesus" – Adrian Peterson
“Q" – Quentin Richardson
"Rambo" – Kurt Rambis
“The Real Deal" – Evander Holyfield
"The Rock" – Dwayne Johnson
“The Rocket" – Roger Clemens
“Sam I Am" – Sam Cassell
"Shaq" – Shaquille O'Neal
"Shoeless Joe" – Joe Jackson
“Smush" – William Parker
"The Spanish Inquisition" – Pau Gasol
"Stat" – Amare Stoudemire
"Sugar" – Shane Mosley
"T-Mac" – Tracy McGrady
"T.O." – Terrell Owens
"T.P." – Tony Parker
“The Truth” – Paul Pierce
"The Tuna" – Bill Parcells
“The Wizard of Oz" – Ozzie Smith
“The Worm" – Dennis Rodman
"The Wunderkind" – Dirk Nowitzki
"Zeke" – Isiah Thomas
"The Zen Master" – Phil Jackson