The Phoenix Suns have had players with high-quality nicknames throughout their history. Here is the definitive ranking of the top 20.
Everyone loves a good nickname. Unless of course, you still have a horrible nickname from grade school your jerk friends made up that unfortunately stuck, in which case you probably hate nicknames. There’s a guy from my hometown who still goes by “Gravy Train” to this day. I, for one (as well as Al McCoy, who is responsible for a few of the names in this list), love nicknames, and the Phoenix Suns have had some great ones throughout team history.
I’m a huge advocate of the NBA allowing players to wear nicknames on the back of their jerseys for one game per season kind of like Major League Baseball does with what they call Players’ Weekend. The amount of merchandise they would sell would be mind-blowing and I hear the NBA could use some cashflow right now.
Some nicknames are simple. Some are longwinded. But regardless, the best nicknames are organic and when you reference the nickname out of context, you immediately know who you’re talking about.
We solicited some feedback for some of the best nicknames on the official Valley of the Suns Twitter account and Suns fans did not disappoint. We received 72 comments with all the great suggestions, confirming my suspicion this is one of the most under-explored, hot-button issue of our era.
So, what do we do with a group of items for which people have varying opinions on which is best? We create a definitive ranking of them, of course.
In order to devise this ranking of the top 20, I took the following criteria into consideration:
- Uniqueness to the individual
In order to make the to 20, the nickname had to be fairly ubiquitous. Sure, Ricky Rubio is occasionally referred to as the Spanish Maestro, but it’s not like that is incredibly widespread. Similarly, Devin Booker is commonly called Book, but that’s more out of verbal expediency.
The nicknames in this list have that extra oomph to them. Actually, some don’t, but they’ve been elevated by time and nostalgia.
But enough preamble. Let’s get to the ranking: