15.3k voters

The Best NBA Player Nicknames

Updated March 5, 2020 170.7k votes 15.3k voters 191.0k views140 items

List RulesPlease rank the players only on their nicknames

This list includes the best NBA nicknames of current and retired NBA players. The top basketball players nicknames are on this list and the best thing is you can control who ranks highest on this list. This list includes nicknames for point guard, centers and shooters. "Air Jordan" may be the most famous of all the basketball nicknames, it almost might be the most cool basketball nickname, but is it the best? Vote for the best basketball nicknames of any era and add any good NBA players nicknames that may not have made it on the list. 

What are the best nicknames in basketball? There are funny nicknames for all players if you look hard enough. This includes nicknames for point guards and other types of players. Some of these nicknames are more memorable than others, but that's the way it goes right? Vote below, then head over and check out some of the best NFL player nicknames ever.

  • Earvin Johnson1
    Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American retired professional...  more

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    #29 of 32 The Best NBA Shooting Guards of the 90s#13 of 115 The Funniest Professional Athletes

  • Kobe Bryant2
    The Black Mamba
    Kobe Bean Bryant (August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020) was an American professional basketball...  more

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    The 100 Best Songs That Reference Kobe Bryant#191 of 242 The Hottest Men Of 2019, Ranked

  • Michael Jordan3
    Air Jordan
    Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials MJ, is an American...  more

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    Wild Stories And Rumors About Michael Jordan#529 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021

  • Hakeem Olajuwon4
    The Dream
    Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon (; Yoruba: [olaɟuwɔ̃]; born January 21, 1963), formerly spelled (& still...  more

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    #4 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time#1 of 50 The Greatest African NBA Players of All Time

  • Allen Iverson5
    The Answer
    Allen Ezail Iverson (; born June 7, 1975), nicknamed "the Answer", is an American former...  more

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    #1 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time#40 of 66 The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo6

    Greek Freak

    Giannis Antetokounmpo (born December 6, 1994) is a Greek professional basketball player for...  more

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    #14 of 102 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today#1 of 294 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today

  • Shaquille O'Neal7
    Diesel, Superman, Big Aristotle
    Shaquille Rashaun "Shaq" O'Neal ( shə-KEEL; SHAK; born March 6, 1972) is a retired...  more

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    #1012 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time#27 of 176 The Best Hot Ones Guests Ever

  • Karl Malone8
    The Mailman
    Karl Anthony Malone (born July 24, 1963) is an American retired professional basketball...  more

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    #37 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative#5 of 168 The Greatest Power Forwards in NBA History

  • Julius Erving9
    Dr. J
    Julius Winfield Erving II (born February 22, 1950), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is...  more
  • Pete Maravich10
    Pistol Pete
    Peter Press Maravich (June 22, 1947 – January 5, 1988), known by his nickname Pistol Pete, was...  more

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    #3 of 86 The Best Second-Generation NBA Players Of All Time#2 of 58 The Greatest LSU Basketball Players of All Time

  • Tyrone Bogues11
    Tyrone Curtis "Muggsy" Bogues (born January 9, 1965) is a retired American basketball player....  more

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    #30 of 150 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History#18 of 27 The Best '90s Point Guards

  • Tracy McGrady12
    Tracy Lamar McGrady Jr. (born May 24, 1979) is an American former professional basketball...  more

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    #6 of 21 20 Videos of Pro Athletes Crying at Press Conferences#42 of 90 The Best New York Knicks of All Time

  • Anfernee Hardaway13
    Anfernee Deon "Penny" Hardaway (born July 18, 1971) is an American college basketball coach...  more

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    #1 of 46 The Greatest Memphis Basketball Players of All Time#8 of 143 Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

  • Jason Williams14
    White Chocolate
    Jason Williams may refer to: SportspeopleJason Williams (American football) (born 1986),...  more

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    #38 of 56 People Who Should Be in the Basketball Hall of Fame#53 of 77 US Men’s Olympic Basketball All-Time Dream Team

  • Anthony Webb15
    Anthony Jerome "Spud" Webb (born July 13, 1963) is an American retired professional basketball...  more

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    #3 of 31 The Best NC State Basketball Players Ever#8 of 126 The Best NBA Buys for the Money

  • David Robinson16
    The Admiral
    David Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965) is an American former professional basketball...  more

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    #923 of 1,427 The Best Athletes Of All Time#9 of 69 All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked

  • LeBron James17
    King James
    LeBron Raymone James Sr. (; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball...  more

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  • Vince Carter18
    Vinsanity, Air Canada
    Vincent Lamar Carter (born January 26, 1977) is an American professional basketball player for...  more

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    #3 of 51 The Greatest UNC Tar Heels Basketball Players of All Time#66 of 85 Great Athletes Who Waited Too Long To Retire

  • Gary Payton19
    The Glove
    Gary Dwayne Payton Sr. (born July 23, 1968) is an American retired professional basketball...  more

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    #455 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time#30 of 107 The Greatest Lakers of All Time

  • James Harden20
    The Beard
    James Edward Harden Jr. (born August 26, 1989) is an American professional basketball player...  more

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  • Larry Bird21
    Larry Legend, The Hick from French Lick
    Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is an American former professional basketball player,...  more

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  • Paul Pierce22
    The Truth
    Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977) is an American former professional basketball...  more

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    #3 of 49 The Greatest Kansas Jayhawks Basketball Players of All Time#196 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

  • Oscar Robertson23
    The Big O
    Oscar Palmer Robertson (born November 24, 1938), nicknamed "The Big O", is an American retired...  more

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    #3 of 25 The Best NBA Point Guards of the 1970s#1 of 22 The Best NBA Point Guards of the 60s

  • Kenny Smith24
    The Jet
    Kenny "the Jet" Smith (born March 8, 1965) is an American sports commentator and former...  more
  • Andrei Kirilenko25
    Andrei Gennadyevich Kirilenko (Russian: Андрей Геннадьевич Кириленко; born February 18, 1981)...  more

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    #29 of 232 The Best White Players in NBA History#20 of 146 The Best European NBA Players of All Time