The NBA is strongly considering putting nicknames of players on the backs of their team jerseys this season, starting with the champion Heat and the new-look Nets.
This is the second time that a major American professional sport has ripped off the XFL, first the NFL with the Skycam and now with the NBA tackling the “He Hate Me” phenomenon. Will it work for the David Stern/Adam Silver regime? Ya, of course it will. It WILL sell more jerseys and it WILL make boatloads of money for the NBA. By 2016, every team will be doing it on random nights and we won’t even notice or care. This is the way sports works these days.
In the Nets/Heat matchup, we’re expecting to see “King James” for LeBron, “D-Wade” for Dwyane Wade, “The Truth” for Paul Pierce and “KG” for Kevin Garnett.
But what about the scrubs on the Heat and Nets? Where do you draw the line? Is the Ray Allen/Jesus Shuttlesworth thing relevant to anyone under the age of 30? I can’t imagine what kind of royalties the NBA will have to pay Spike Lee for the use of “Jesus,” if the NBA goes that route.
Here’s some options for the rest of the Heat and Nets, coming to an NBA Store by you:
2013-14 Miami Heat
Christopher Claus Andersen: “Birdman” (obviously). Other options: “Meth Claus” Andersen, “Breaking Bad” Andersen, “Heisenberg” Andersen
Joel Anthony: Joel “I really don’t look like a Joel” Anthony
Shane Battier: Shane “Iron head … no seriously, someone iron my head” Battier
Michael Beasley: Michael “Thank god pot isn’t the drug of choice in Miami” Beasley
Chris Bosh: Chris “Mr. Adrienne Williams” Bosh
Udonis Haslem: Udonis “Na, I’m set. My name is already bad ass” Haslem
Rashard Lewis: Rashard “I was using HGH before HGH was cool” Lewis
Greg Oden: Greg “One final injury away from porn because of my huge ‘arms’” Oden
2013-14 Brooklyn Nets
Reggie Evans: Reggie “What the hell? I thought I was in that Celtics trade on draft night?” Evans
Joe Johnson: Joe “Please don’t yell at me, KG” Johnson
Andrei Kirilenko: Andrei “My wife gives me a hall pass every year, so I’m better than you” Kirilenko
Shaun Livingston: Shaun “Killer Knees” Livingston
Mason Plumlee: Mason “I should be named Mitchell instead of Mason” Plumlee
Jason Terry: Jason “Please don’t bring up my time in Boston” Terry
Deron Williams: Deron “
Coachella Coachkilla” Williams
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS