Have you actually ever heard someone say Earvin Johnson instead of Magic Johnson? How about Tyrone Bogues instead of Muggsy? How about Anfernee Hardaway? I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of people in the world that actually think Hardaway’s first name is Penny, which was given to him by and hated on by Charles Barkley in a early 90’s Nike ad (below). There’s also been a few other , less popular, players that were mostly known by their nicknames: Mookie Blaylock and Bimbo Coles.
Then of course we have the all-stars and greats that every hoop fan knows. Dr J, The Pistol, The Dream, The Human Highlight Film, The Ice Man, The Reign Man, The Mailman, The Answer, White Chocolate, Chocolate Thunder, Half-Man Half-Amazing, The Microwave (extra credit points if you know who this Detroit legend is) and all 20 “Big” names Shaq gave himself.
In the latest video by Youtuber Mike Korzemba, he explains the meaning behind the following 7 NBA greats.
- Kobe Bryant “The Black Mamba”
- Charles Barkley “The Round Mound of Rebound”
- Allen Iverson “The Answer”
- Kevin Garnett “The Big Ticket”
- Paul Pierce “The Truth”
- Hakeem Olajuwon “The Dream”
- Earvin Johnson “Magic”
Worth mentioning is Kevin Garnett was known as “Da Kid” before “The Big Ticket” and most people just refer to him as KG. And Mike didn’t mention that Kobe Bryant got “The Black Mamba” from Uma Thurman’s character in Quentin Tarantino’s classic film “Kill Bill,” which came out in October 2003 – a few months after the start of his rape trial.
Kobe also tried to push the nickname “Vino” near the end of his career but most people preferred the snake/assassin moniker.
As for that Penny/Barkley commercial I mentioned, I had to dig through a lot of VHS tapes for this clip (27 second mark).