Through an NBA Player's career, fans give them nicknames usually based on their playstyle, attitude, or a specific highlight they had.
A lot of these nicknames are AMAZING: Agent Zero (Gilbert Arenas), The Black Mamba (Kobe Bryant), The Round Mond of Rebound (Charles Barkley). On the other hand, some nicknames are horrible: Bad Porn (Cory Maggette), Boobie (Daniel Gibson), Mr. Mean (Larry Smith).
However, we are not going to be covering the names that fans have given NBA players. Instead, we'll look at the names that NBA players' parents gave them (aka, their literal names). Specifically, we'll be looking at some of the Weirdest NBA Player Names!
Now, I also included "Coolest" because although I do think that some of these names are just straight-up weird, I also find some to be 'weirdly cool.' For example, Giannis' name.
Unlike my previous blog posts, this write-up is going to be much more opinionated. If you think there are players with weird names, comment them down below! Also, I'll attach a list of the Weirdest NBA Player Names if there are some that pique your interest more than others!
Table of Contents:
Giannis Antetokounmpo/Georgios Papagiannis
Like I said earlier, I find Giannis' name to be weirdly cool because of the length of his name. It's such a long and difficult name to pronounce that fans eventually nicknamed Giannis, The Alphabet. Appropriate nickname since almost 50% of the letters in the alphabet is in Giannis' name.
It would be funny if his first name was a really normal name like "Chris," and his last name was still Antetokounmpo. If you haven't noticed, players with more 'unique' first names are called by their first name, while players with 'generic' first names are usually called by their full or last names.
Unique: Lebron, Kawhi, Luka, Kyrie, Zion, etc.
Generic: Chris Paul, Paul George, Anthony Davis, Curry, etc.
So if Giannis' first name was just some generic name, like Chris, then sportscasters would constantly have to mention Giannis by his last name (Antetokounmpo) or his hypothetical full name (Chris Antetokounmpo) instead of just calling him Giannis.
I also included Georgios Papagiannis here because I thought it was weird and funny how his last name is 'Papagiannis.' It makes it sound like he's Giannis' dad and that's only further affirmed when you find out they're both from Greece. However, the illusion is busted when you discover that Giannis is actually three years older than Papagiannis.
Also, Georgios is a cool-sounding name. It sounds like 'Giorno.'
Giannis Antetokounmpo: (2014-Present)
20.9 Points, 9.1 Rebounds, 4.5 Assists, 1.2 Steals, and 1.3 Blocks
53.2 FG%, 28.7 3P%, 71.7 FT%
Georgios Papagiannis: (2016-2018)
4.1 Points, 3.2 Rebounds, 0.7 Assists, 0.2 Steals, and 0.6 Blocks
51 FG%, 85.7 FT%
I just said that Giannis' name was long, but this guy's name is even longer. Martynas Andriuskevicius is the NBA player with the longest name. Not a record a player actively tries to beat, but still a record, I guess.
Martynas' name has 23 letters! 58% of the letters in the alphabet are in Martynas' name. As for Martynas himself, there isn't too much to say about him. The Orlando Magic chose him in the 2005 NBA Draft as the 44th pick. He was a 7'2" Center from Lithuania.
In his rookie season, he only played six games. Altogether, in those six games, Martynas had four rebounds and a steal. The most amount of playing time he got was 2:59 minutes... After his rookie season, he was never heard from again (at least, in terms of the NBA).
Martynas Andriuškevičius: (2006)
0 Points, 0.7 Rebounds, 0 Assists, 0.3 Steals, 0 Blocks
0 FG%, 0 3P%, 0 FT%
Now, you're probably tilting your head. Manny Harris? That's the most normal-sounding name ever! I agree!
However, that's not his real name. Manny Harris' real name is Corperryale Ladorable Harris. If Harris had entered the NBA with his real name, he would have beaten Martynas for the longest name in NBA history.
Apparently, Manny Harris' real name is a combination of an aunt's and uncle's name. I'm assuming that the aunt's and uncle's names were Corperryale and Ladorable, which in their own right are pretty interesting names.
I couldn't even guess whether the aunt is Corperryale or Ladorable since the names are so unique. It's not like the name 'Emily' where it's obviously a girl's name (unless you're a guy named Emily, whoops).
I also love the two names because it feels like it's made up of other words.
Corperryale: Copper + Perry + Yale + Corporal
Ladorable: Lad + Adorable
Manny Harris: (2011-2014, 2017)
6.2 Points, 2.7 Rebounds, 1.4 Assists, 0.5 Steals, and 0.2 Blocks
38.0 FG%, 35.3 3P%, 73.8 FT%
The previous four names were weirdly cool, but this is actually a weird NBA player name.
This one's a bit weird because Fat Lever's first name isn't actually Fat. It's Lafayette which is a cool-sounding name. However, because Fat's younger brother, Elmer Jr., couldn't pronounce Lafayette, Elmer nicknamed Lafayette, Fat.
I mean, I guess the name Fat is fine if it's within your family, but why make it your professional NBA name? I know that NBA jerseys have player's last names, but imagine wearing a jersey that says 'Fat.'
Another aspect of Fat's name that goes unnoticed is his last name Lever. I always get this image in my head of a literal fat lever whenever I think of the player, even though the Lever in Fat Lever is pronounced lee-ver.
Fat Lever: (1982-94)
13.9 Points, 6.0 Rebounds, 6.2 Assists, 2.2 Steals, and 0.3 Blocks
44.7 FG%, 31.0 3P%, 77.1 FT%
This is straight-up, just a cool name. It's not even that weird. His last name already has the word 'god' 'in it, but I guess his parents had to double down and made his first name 'God' as well.
Although God Shammgod only played twenty games in his NBA career, his impact on the game is tremendous. It actually has to do with his last name, Shammgod. Named after God Shammgod (obviously), the one-hand dribble move, the 'Shammgod,' was created and perfected by God Shammgod.
Shammgod is considered one of the best ball handlers in NBA history, even with just a twenty-game career! He's now a developmental coach for the Dallas Mavericks and specializes in ball-handling!
Although it may sound weird to hire someone for a specific specialty that isn't the most important relative to other skills (ex: shooting, passing, rebounding, etc.), Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said that he wanted a ball-handling coach to lessen turnovers. To his credit, that's not a bad reason.
God Shammgod: (1997)
3.1 Points, 0.4 Rebounds, 1.8 Assists, 0.4 Steals, and 0.1 Blocks
32.8 FG%, 76.7 FT%
Longar Longar is on this list because I think he's the only NBA player with the same first and last name. He's not technically an NBA player since he has only played in the G-League, but since it's a part of the NBA, why not include him.
I can't really find much on Longar Longar. I found out that he was from South Sudan, so I checked whether Longar had any cultural significance and what the translation was to English. Longar in Arabic translates to 'long.' At least that is what Google Translations says. If that's true, it's an appropriate name since Longar had a 7'5" wingspan!
Longar might also have the same first and last name due to Sudanese tradition. I couldn't really understand it, so I'll put what the source says about naming traditions.
"Remember, this naming convention does not involve the use of a surname. All the names are first names."
"When Sudanese people migrate to the English-speaking West, their names may not be correctly transferred onto official documents. Members of the same family can have different last names."
Longar Longar: (2008-2011)
6.5 Points, 5.5 Rebounds, 0.8 Assists, 0.3 Steals, and 1.2 Blocks
45.6 FG%, 57.5 FT%
Metta World Peace
This is probably one of the more well-known weird names here. World Peace's previous name was Ron Artest. However, Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace because of its association with the Malice in the Palace and his past violent actions.
If you don't know what the Malice in the Palace was, a fan threw a drink at Ron Artest at the end of a Pacers vs. Pistons game. As a result, Artest went up to the stands and mistakenly punched the wrong person, confusing him for the fan that threw the drink.
After that game, Artest was banned for the entire season. If it weren't for that incident, the Pacers could have had a really high chance of winning the playoffs that year.
In 2011, Artest officially changed his name to Metta World Peace because "when fans get mad at me, they can't say, I hate World Peace." Also, Metta is a Buddhis term that means "loving-kindness."
Recently, World Peace changed his name to Metta Sandiford-Artest. The new addition, Sandiford, is from his wife's last name. Not as weird.
Metta Sandiford-Artest: (1999-2017)
13.2 Points, 4.5 Rebounds, 2.7 Assists, 1.7 Steals, and 0.5 Blocks
42.0 FG%, 33.9 3P%, 71.5 FT%
Diamond Stone/Chubby Cox
Honestly, Diamond Stone is not that weird of a name. However, it honestly kind of sounds like a pornstar's name. Also, I feel like I don't need to explain why the other person's name is weird. Chubby Cox is, without a doubt, the weirdest NBA player name.
Did the parents ever notice how weird 'Chubby Cox' sounded? Then again, they probably don't have the mind of a ten-year-old, so...
Coincidentally, both players only played seven games throughout their NBA career.
Diamond Stone: (2016)
1.4 Points, 0.9 Rebounds, 0.1 Blocks
23.1 FG%, 100.0 FT%
Chubby Cox: (1982)
4.1 Points, 1.4 Rebounds, 0.9 Assists, 0.1 Blocks
35.1 FG%, 50.0 FT%
I'm going to keep this one short. The reason why I put D.J. Strawberry on here because I immeadietly thought that it was a character on the Wiggles. That's it. Even if it isn't, the name sounds like a character in a kid's musical show that would play the music and hype up the kids.
D.J. Strawberry: (2007-08)
2.2 Points, 0.8 Rebounds, 0.9 Assists, 0.4 Steals, and 0.2 Blocks
31.5 FG%, 24.0 3P%, 47.4 FT%
Michael Jackson/Michael Phelps
These are pretty self-explanatory. The OG Michael Jackson and Michael Phelps were NBA players! Guess what Michael Phelps' nickname was. It was Mike. VERY interesting nickname. What makes this more interesting is that both Michaels played in the same era, so they actually played against each other.
To be honest, neither Michael was that good, so I wonder if Michael Jackson (the singer) and Michael Phelps (the swimmer) could beat these two.
Michael Jackson: 1987-1990
2.1 Points, 0.8 Rebounds, 2.2 Assists, 0.3 Steals, and 0.1 Blocks
42.0 FG%, 27.3 3P%, 67.5 FT%
Michael Phelps: 1985-1988
3.6 Points, 1.1 Rebounds, 1.0 Assists, 0.5 Steals
42.0 FG%, 9.1 3P%, 63.9 FT%
Like Manny Harris, Charles Jones is a pretty ordinary name. Well, that's the reason why it's here. Due to how ordinary/normal the name is, three different NBA players have the same name. Unfortunatley, none of them were that good.
I will give props to the first Charles Jones. He played fifteen seasons in the NBA while only averaging 2.5 points and 4.5 rebounds as a Center. He even won a championship in 1995 with the Houston Rockets.
Charles Jones: (1983-98)
2.5 Points, 4.5 Rebounds, 0.9 Assists, 0.6 Steals, and 1.6 Blocks
48.0 FG%, 61.8 FT%
Charles Jones: (1984-89)
5.0 Points, 3.8 Rebounds, 1.0 Assists, 0.5 Steals, and 0.5 Blocks
49.3 FG%, 11.1 3P%, 61.1 FT%
Charles Jones: (1998-2000)
3.5 Points, 1.2 Rebounds, 1.6 Assists, 0.6 Steals, and 0.1 Blocks
32.4 FG%, 32.4 3P%, 62.2 FT%
Wah Wah Jones
Wah Wah... Ha Ha.
Wah Wah Jones: (1950-52)
10.2 Points, 5.1 Rebounds, 3.2 Assists
35.5 FG%, 75.7 FT%