I can just see the dollar signs over the heads of the NBA and merchandise partners that will be manufacturing and selling jerseys and memorabilia with ...(Read more)

NBA Considering nicknames on the back of Heat and Nets jerseys

I can just see the dollar signs over the heads of the NBA and merchandise partners that will be manufacturing and selling jerseys and memorabilia with King James, Three, Jesus Shuttlesworth, The Truth and The Big Ticket on it.

The NBA put out a press release yesterday saying they are considering allowing players on the Heat and Nets to wear jerseys with their nicknames on the back during atleast one of the four match-ups against each other next season.

“It shows growth in our league and it shows we do adapt to what’s going on around us,” said Allen, the Heat guard who plans to wear Shuttlesworth on his jersey, a nod to his character from the “He Got Game” film. “And we’re still kids, playing a kids’ game. Even though we’re now men playing a kids’ game, we still remember where we come from. Everybody had a nickname and it’s a way to let the fans in a little bit more.”

Well of course Ray Allen would like this idea because he has a cool nickame but for not so cool guys with no so cool ideas like Shane Battier this could become a tough decision with legal ramifications.

Miami forward Shane Battier – who wasn’t exactly thrilled about the nickname idea – said he wanted to wear “Batman” on his jersey, though was told that Warner Brothers holds the rights to that name, and other players have also had to deal with copyright-related issues with their suggested monikers. Battier said he’ll go with “Shaneo” instead.

Besides the issue of having to do legal legwork to make sure each nickname wont result in a lawsuit, I can just imagine the bickering among players on a team and with others on other teams over generic nicknames.  We have all heard countless stories about players fighting over and selling jersey numbers, now we have to make sure a nickname is available too.

I’m assuming most players will probably just use their Twitter or Instagram handle but what happens when an athlete goes crazy on Twitter by putting out a bunch of PR nightmare tweets, overreacts, deletes their account, then tells the world they were hacked, some random person see the opportunity to cease the handle and now the player’s jersey is promoting an account ran by some immature loony?

It’s not just the public they have to worry about when it comes to nicknames.  Just look at wrestlers and some streetballers that tried to move on from an organization that trademarked their nicknames and then were told they couldn’t use it without paying a fee. Brands invest tens of millions of dollars into athletes and marketing campaigns for them so I could see some of these brands not allowing an athlete to leave with their nicnkanem when they join a competitor. Not everybody will be as lucky as Shaq who came up with and trademarked his dunkman logo back in college and then leased it to Reebok.

The only cool thing about this to me is imagining a team sitting around the lockeroom and reenacting this classic scene from Reservoir Dogs

…and if Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins could play the part of Mr Big and give out the nicknames then I would really be happy.


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