The Best Sports Nicknames

  • Ray Allen, Paul Pierce
    Basketball

    LeBron James – King James

    Kobe BryantBlack Mamba

    Glen DavisBig Baby

    Chris AndersenBirdman

    Shawn MarionThe Matrix

    Paul PierceThe Truth

    Ray AllenJesus

    Tim DuncanBig Fundamental

    Kevin GarnettBig Ticket

    Nick YoungSwaggy P

    Kyrie IrvingUncle Drew

    Jason TerryJET

    Kevin DurantSlim Reaper

    From Pierce to Kyrie, the NBA’s is littered with awesome nicknames. Maybe it’s the style? The swagger? I’m not sure. The NFL and MLB don’t have nearly the same hitting percentage when it comes to nicknames. In basketball, it always seems to work.

    Look at that list… not a single name that doesn’t stand out as an awesome nickname. Some, like Jason Terry, weren’t all that creative, but then others like Kyrie with his Uncle Drew moniker went over the top.

    The next order of business is making Kevin Durant accept his Slim Reaper alias.

    1 of 3
  • Darrelle Revis
    Football

    Johnny ManzielJohnny Football/Money Manziel

    Darrelle RevisRevis Island

    Ben RoethlisbergerBig Ben

    BenJarvus Green-EllisThe Law Firm

    Adrian Peterson – All Day 

    Darren McFaddenRun-DMC

    Matt RyanMatty Ice

    Calvin Johnson Megatron

    Tyrann Mathieu  Honey Badger

    It all starts with the Law Firm. That’s one of the greatest nicknames in sports history. Green-Ellis has quietly developed into a solid running back over the last four years, scoring 37 rushing touchdowns during that time. If he had a little more burst in his game, this nickname would take off.

    Revis Island is another standout, and while Revis isn’t the best cover corner in the game anymore, the mystique of the “island” still holds weight.

    One thing that must be pointed out is football has so many talented big-name performers — mostly quarterbacks — that don’t have or even need nicknames. Brady. Brees. Rodgers. Manning. These cats don’t have nicknames. Out of all the top signal callers, Matty Ice is the only standout.

    2 of 3
  • Billy Butler
    Baseball

    Homer BaileyBatman

    Yoenis CespedesThe Cuban Missile

    David OrtizBig Papi

    Tim LincecumThe Freak

    Billy ButlerCountry Breakfast

    Pablo SandovalKung Fu Panda

    Jose Bautista – Joey Bats

    Baseball has a long history of spectacular nicknames. From Hammerin’ Hank Aaron to Mr. October to even the Wild Thing in Major League, America’s pastime grew up on nicknames. In today’s game, some of the best players don’t have the memorable aliases anymore. However, the rest of the league makes up for it with new classics like Country Breakfast, Joey Bats, and Kung Fu Panda.

    Ortiz’s Big Papi sparked a revolution in Boston a decade ago, and in part because of that nickname, the Red Sox slugger has the keys to the city for the rest of his life. It’s endeared him to the fans.

    3 of 3
  • Ray Allen, Paul Pierce
  • Darrelle Revis
  • Billy Butler

Kobe Bryant might not play by the same rules as everybody else, but tradition says you earn your nickname through your performance. Yeah, sometimes, the best ones come from something completely different — you could be like BenJarvus Green-Ellis and have a really cool name — but for the most part, an alter ego comes after you’ve proven yourself. If he didn’t have any talent, Slim Shady would’ve amounted to some gimmick, a flavor of the month. Instead, the name still resonates 15 years after first landing on the scene.

Today, with it being Magic Johnson‘s 55th birthday, we’re counting down the best current nicknames in football, baseball, and basketball.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney