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Hey, guys. I’m sure you’re all aware, but the NBA playoffs are riiiiiiight around the corner. There are still a couple games left in the regular season, so nothing is set in stone. I thought about writing a piece about potential match-ups, the MVP or Rookie of the Year race, but there’s already so much hubbub, you know?

If you know me, you know I love a nickname. Chances are that if we’re friends, I haven’t called you by your name since I’ve known you. Which is why I’ve chosen to share my top 20 favorite nicknames in the NBA. Let’s dive into this hard-hitting topic.

20. Z-Bo (Zach Randolph)

I love that this nickname has nothing to do with his skills or appearance, but is a name given to him by a childhood friend. A classic nickname.

19. D-Wade (Dwyane Wade)

Nothing too terribly creative here, just another straightforward nickname. Shaq gave Wade the nickname, Flash, but Wade has since moved on.

18. Sweet Lou (Lou Williams)

I like that “Sweet Lou” has transitioned from baseball greats (Piniella, Whitaker and Johnson) to the incredible sixth man of the LA Clippers. Sweet, sweet Lou.

17. Swaggy P (Nick Young)

I hate myself for putting this nickname on the list. It’s on here because of Nick Young’s ridiculous story of how he got the nickname. God gave it to him in a dream! God is so with it. He’s also credited the name to the fact that all his friends talk about how much swag he has. As for the P?

“The P is a mystery. I can’t give that secret out yet,” he says. Oooookay.

16. Vooch aka Vucci Mane (Nikola Vucevic)

A simple, abbreviated nickname that has transformed into a play on Gucci Mane. Vucevic himself has stated that he doesn’t like being called Vucci Mane, but I continue to use it because it’s sick.

15. The Joker (Nikola Jokic)

Jokic is known on his team and in his family to be a really happy-go-lucky prankster with terrible jokes, which has earned him this nickname. Not a joke? The dimes he dishes to his teammates on a nightly basis.

14. Big KAT (Karl-Anthony Towns)

Towns is big, yes, and he’s been big for the Timberwolves this season. This nickname, of course, is a play on his initials and has also gotten him deals with Kit Kat. Get yo money, Big KAT.

13. Porzingod/Unicorn (Kristaps Porzingis)

much prefer Porzingod over “Zinger” for Kristaps. And there’s no other player in the league as deserving of a mythical creature nickname than this guy. Get well soon, Unicorn.

12. Boogie (DeMarcus Cousins)

Cousins hasn’t been doing too much boogie-ing since his Achilles injury in January, but the nickname remains awesome. Cousins got the nickname when he played for Kentucky.

11. The Beard (James Harden)

Some may consider nicknames like this cheap because it’s just based on his appearance, but his his beard is iconic. He can just never go back to the olden days when he was without it. For all our sakes.

10. Jimmy G. Buckets (Jimmy Butler)

You know…the G stands for gets.

9. The Brow (Anthony Davis)

Similarly to Harden’s nickname, Anthony Davis’ nickname is just his signature physical trait, but again, it’s iconic. Davis almost got me a few days ago when he posted that video of him shaving his brow, but praised be, it was just a prank. Beware the Brow.

8. Chef Curry (Steph Curry)

Steph’s wife, Ayesha, is closer to a chef, but this nickname stuck after Drake rapped,

This shit a mothafuckin’ lay up
I been Steph Curry with the shot
Been cookin’ with the sauce, Chef Curry with the pot, boy

in one of my favorite songs, 0 to 100/The Catch Up. I prefer Chef Curry over the Babyfaced Assassin, personally.

7. King James (LeBron James)

This nickname is only fitting for the player that has a tattoo that reads, “The Chosen One”.

6. The Claw (Kawhi Leonard)

I almost forgot about this one because I haven’t seen Kawhi play in what seems like months. Wait, it has been months. Leonard’s giant hands and incredible defense have earned him this fantastic nickname. Hopefully, we’ll get to see The Claw in action soon.

5. The Stifle Tower (Rudy Gobert)

This one is so good. The French player originally didn’t understand why he was called The Stifle Tower because he thought stifle meant “a long, skinny thing”. After he realized it was because he’s a blocking machine, he changed his mind.

4. The Manimal (Kenneth Faried)

Faried seems to have been forgotten by the Nuggets this season, which makes me sad, because his nickname is one of my absolute faves.

3. The Process (Joel Embiid)

People used to poke fun at the 76’ers and their “process”, but boy, are they trusting The Process now. The Sixers are on a 14-game winning streak, without The Process, and boast a 50-30 record. Embiid has been a huge part of their success, and very deserving of this nickname.

2. The Greek Freak (Giannis Antetokounmpo)

Giannis will undoubtedly be MVP soon. He and Ben Simmons are really changing the game as unconventional point guards. Watching Antetokounmpo play is so fun because he can do literally everything freakishly well and he’s got one of the best mean mugs in the game.

1. Sauce Castillo (Nik Stauskas)

Sauce Castillo aka Nik Stauskas

Number one doesn’t necessarily go to the best, flashiest, or most well-known player. But damn, it’s my favorite. The reason behind this nickname is the best part. The closed captions during a Kings game interpreted Stauskas’ name as “Sauce Castillo” and so the nickname was born.

You can rest assured there will be playoff posts coming up, but for now, let us know what your favorite NBA nickname is. Are any of your favorites left off this list?

Jamie is an actress, bar manager (and frequenter), beauty blogger, INFP, and of course, NBA fanatic living in Los Angeles. She spends most of her free time curating her Spotify playlists, eating Korean BBQ with her boyfriend, and deciding what color lipstick to wear.



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