Sunday, January 17, 2010

What's in an Nick-Name? The NBA Part IV, E-H

There were so many responses to the last piece on NBA nick-names that here is another batch. Some names come from the physical look of athletes, others from their place of origin, others still from their accomplishments on the court. Nowadays, NBA nick-names are not as colorful and definitely much less in evidence. Kevin Garnett, (”the kid, and the “big ticket” ) for example, has a few but they don’t seem as much in use. Here we go – and as always – reactions always welcomed.

“EASY ED” A lean 6'8", 1 90-pounder, Ed Macauley ranks as one of the top centers in NBA history. A three-time All-Star in a nine-year playing career during the 1950's, Macauley specialized in a smooth, almost unstoppable hook shot and driving layups. His temperament and his performing skills were characterized by an ease and a grace that was reflected in his nickname.

“ERASER, THE HUMAN” Marvin Webster of the New York Knickerbockers in the NBA on earned his nickname for his shot-blocking ability. At seven-feet-plus, Webster's size and timing enabled him to wipe out scoring efforts of opponents by simply batting the ball away from the hoop.

“THE GLIDE” Clyde Drexler’s role model was Julius Erving. “He seemed to fly. I wanted to be like him,'' said Drexler, who earned the nickname “Clyde the Glide'' for his own swooping moves.

"THE GLOVE” Gary Payton, the all-time scoring leader at Oregon State, Payton made a name for himself with the Seattle Supersonics on the other side of the ball - as a defender.

“GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS” In 1925, there was a Philadelphia Warriors team in the American Basketball League. In 1946, when Philadelphia joined the NBA, it took its nickname from that old team. The Golden State Warriors are a descendant of the old Philadelphia Warriors. They've gone through a couple of geographical shifts. Philly became the San Francisco Warriors, San Francisco became the Oakland Warriors and Oakland became the Golden State Warriors.

“GRANMAMA” Larry Johnson, who played for the Knicks and other teams in the NBA – even when he was young he looked grandmotherly.

“HACK- A- SHAQ” Primitive defensive scheme designed to try and stop the ONE-TIME most unstoppable man in the NBA – Shaquille O’Neal. Fouling him put him on the foul line where his skills were sub-par.

“HIS AIRNESS” Michael Jordan seemed to fly in the air and also his play had a touch of royalty about it for some, hence the nickname.

“HORSE, THE” Harry Gallatin starred for the National Basketball Association New York Knickerbockers during the 1950's. Though just 6'6", his bulk and power enabled him to out rebound much taller opponents. In the 1953-54 season Gallatin pulled down 1,098 rebounds, an average of 15.3 per game. His strength and stamina earned him his nickname.

“HOT DOG” Dennis Rodman, master rebounder and man of many hair colors and show off ways.
“HOUSTON ROCKETS “ The Houston Rockets were once the San Diego Rockets (1967-1971). When the franchise moved to Houston in 1971, the nickname went along and fit in a city linked to space programs and industries.

"HUMAN HIGHLIGHT REEL" Dominique Wilkins, passing was not his game but spectacular offensive moves were.

(to be continued)

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