With most of Lakers Nation ready to light themselves on fire and sprint down Figueroa after the recent 2-3 road trip, I thought we should touch on a lighter subject (no pun intended). So put down your gas cans people, and let’s talk nicknames. What makes a good nickname? What seems like a simple question is really one that is not so easily answered.
Nicknames come about in different ways under different circumstances. In the world of sports, nicknames are typically given for one of three reasons: (1) The way you play (2) The way you act (3) The way you look That’s pretty much it. Often times they can be endearing, but sometimes they can be demeaning. In order for a nickname to stick, though, it must fit.
Over the years, the Los Angeles Lakers have fostered some of the most famous nicknames in all of sports. It’s time we breakdown the ten best monikers in Lakers team history.
Before we dig in, we should touch on some ground rules for nicknames to make the Top 10:
RULE #1: Nicknames must be powerful enough to garner stand alone recognition. If we can replace your given name with your nickname in casual conversation without missing a beat, then you qualify.
RULE #2: Nicknames must make sense, meaning you must embody the characteristics of your nickname. Going a step further, the nickname must be earned. In this day and age, it seems everyone is given a nickname just for the sake of having one. Example: Pundits everywhere have called LeBron James “King James” for a decade just because it’s historically ironic. Sorry LeBron, but I will only refer to you as King when you earn it. Until someone can prove otherwise, the REIGNING KING of the NBA resides in sunny Southern California (and will be here for another 3 years thanks to his shiny new extension).
RULE #3: Nearly 99.9% of the time, the nickname must be given to you. Only under rare circumstances will someone actually be powerful enough to give themselves a nickname and have it stick. For most of you mere mortals, giving yourself a nickname just winds up making you look like a fool. You cannot simply decide to change your screen name to “PapaLove34” and start signing your emails P. Love because the mood strikes you. On second thought, if you really want to go down that path then go ahead and give it the old college try. Who am I to stand in the way of humiliation?
RULE #4: Only the primary nickname qualifies. Secondary nicknames are awesome, but sorry folks, we’re only accepting one. That said, the question then becomes: How do we define primary nicknames? The answer is simple: I do. Don’t like it? Write your own column. Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Greatest Nicknames in Lakers Team History.