Your Name is All You Have

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on September 25, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read


According to various reports, the NBA is considering the Miami Heat and Brookyn Nets to wear special nickname jerseys for a game this season. The natural progression leads to wondering what these type of jerseys would look like for the Dallas Mavericks.

There is a lot of backlash coming from this reported suggestion. Many don’t like the idea of nicknames taking over for the name on the back of the jersey. Phoenix Suns guard Kendall Marshal cited that there is a special value to having his name on the back of his jersey as he is playing and representing his family. It’a a bit of a quandary the league is in with this.

The league is probably the best compared to the rest of pro sports in America, even better than the machine that is the NFL, when it comes to marketing their stars and pushing the envelope in fashion and general apparel.

There are a lot of issues when it comes to the nicknames such as not every player having a nickname or the PG-13-inization of some names. The nickname for Andrei Kirilenko (AK-47) comes to mind.

The league is slowly approaching a time where ads will be on their jerseys. Honestly, the first step in terms of altering names on jerseys was going with Twitter account names as opposed to nicknames. I’m sure that’s still coming down the trail.

Anyway, back to the idea of looking what the jerseys would look like for the Mavs.

Let’s look at the ones we know that are a given.

Vince Carter

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“Half Man, Half Amazing” would look great on a jersey, but it’s pushing the limit on characters for a jersey. It’s also a little dated, like his “Air Canada” nickname. This is simplistic, but very cool. “Vinsanity” would also be a pretty good choice.

Monta Ellis

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Seriously, is there any other option that would work better than this?

Devin Harris

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For those who don’t understand, Dirk Nowitzki originally gave Harris this nickname during his first tour of duty with the Mavs. A translation of this nickname in German reveals the phrase baby face. While older, it’s hard to let nicknames of the past fade away.

Bernard James

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With his military service life before the NBA called, this is a natural fit for the second-year center.

Shawn Marion

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This is a play on his “Matrix” nickname. What’s this, a nickname of a nickname? That’s some Inception-like workshopping that is going on with the Mavs. Either way, you just don’t see too many zeros in the league, so “Matrix” or “Trix” is going to look pretty fantastic.

Brandan Wright

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Your own name, with the right parts, can make a pretty cool nickname. Wright’s got a new deal with the Mavs, so you better get used to hearing “B-Wright” when you watch Mavs games.

Now it gets a little trickier when you look at the rest of the roster.

DeJuan Blair

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He originally got the nickname “Bear” but his nickname took a new form during the playoffs. Thanks to my I-35 South friend Matthew Tynan, we know know that “The Dancing Bear” could work.

Jose Calderon

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This is my own creation as it is the Spanish translation for creator.

Jae Crowder

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Near the midway point of last season, Crowder told the media that “Beast” was a nickname he liked that was given to him before entering the NBA. We’ll see if that sticks.

Samuel Dalembert

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This is actually the nickname that he rolled with during his time with the Houston Rockets. It is a shame that “Haitian Sensation” is a little too long otherwise that one would crush as a nickname.

Wayne Ellington

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It certainly gave me a chuckle when Ellington tweeted a Make it Wayne hashtag shortly after he signed with the Mavs.  If he’s draining 3-point buckets at a rapid rate, this name could catch on.

Shane Larkin

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This is a nickname that was given to the rookie guard by Deion Sanders. If it works for “Prime Time” it can certainly work for the Mavs.

Ricky Ledo

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This is a tough one. I’ve heard “My Eggo” as one that could go with his last name. That really doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. One of the things that stood out from Summer League was the fact that bloggers were buying into the hype of Ledo and were dying to see him gets some burn. The last guy who had the fans begging for them to be free didn’t exactly pan out. Fans always want to latch on to the hype and the unknown, so this will work for now. Who knows, maybe this will be the NBA’s version of Rod Smart.

Gal Mekel

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This is another creation from my head. Mekel is quite the innovator on offense once he comes off the pick-and-roll. Watching his eyes and footwork coming off those screens then finding the open teammate for an easy bucket made me think of him as somewhat of an artist.

Dirk Nowitzki

This is probably the hardest of the choices. “Tall Baller From the G” and “Ghostface Drillah (Goatfaced Drillah)” are way too long to fit on a jersey. That leaves three primary options.

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The first option is pretty much an early version of his Twitter handle. “Dirty” is a nickname that many players have give him over the course of his career. “That Dude” is the name that’s pretty much announced for him over the PA during the home games for the Mavs. Honestly, I’m distraught at the notion that the characters take the original two options off the table. I wouldn’t be mad at any of these three being the actual jersey.

In conclusion, it’s not a given that the league will actually follow through on this with a full-scale launch. Is the idea in theory questionable? Yes. Are my off the cuff ideas questionable? Very.

If it bothers you that much to see nicknames on jerseys, don’t buy them and don’t pay attention to the league. Money plays. More importantly, money talks. This would definitely be an idea that generates more income for the league. They’re in the business of entertainment and making money. Do you really remember that new game ball a few years back? It was a dud and the league moved on from it. This could easily be another thing swept under the rug if it’s necessary. If the experiment falls flat on its face, the league will move on from it and you’ll barely remember it.

Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University. Bryan channels his inner-Clark Kent on a day-to-day basis. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.

  • Les Reynolds

    I’m a huge Calderon fan from his days with the Raptors, and Numero Ocho was the closest thing he had to a nickname here.

  • Gargamel

    Nowitzki’s would be “Uberman”. Please try to follow along.