With so many sites dishing out their rankings of NBA players, I decided to compile a list of my own. Introducing, the NBA name rank!
We always hear members of the media talking about a players name–especially when nearing the NBA Draft–and if it’s one that can be associated with a future All-Star. With the constant wave of players overseas entering the league, that’s becoming increasingly difficult of a discussion.
But it still provides for fun with (pointless) lists like this. It’s all in good fun, much like an NBA Spelling Bee I posted once upon a time.
In no way am I intending to use this as a way to insult a family name. None of it is meant to be personal and the rankings aren’t a reflection of my opinion on a player’s game or personality. Heck, my first and last name have been a source of comic relief since I was 10. The reasons for that are as silly as my reasons for each ranking here.
Because I find league-wide player rankings incredibly boring when it reaches the middle (it’s just a bunch of complimentary players who don’t move the needle), I’ll narrow my rankings down to the 50 worst names and the 50 best, starting with the former. Let’s begin:
The super ordinary names
They sound like the typical names NBA 2k gives CPU-generated players in their franchise mode:
50. Erik Murphy
49. Chris Paul
48. James Anderson
47. Joe Johnson
46. James Jones
45. Paul George
44. Greg Smith
43. Mike Miller
42. David Lee
41. Sam Young
There are plenty more names like those I listed, but I just handpicked ten.
There can only be one (and these players aren’t replacing them)
40. Mike Scott
- He’ll never take the place of my favorite boss in a TV series.
39. Wayne Ellington
- Forever the best jazz musician in the NBA.
38. Ben McLemore
- Unfortunately sounds like Macklemore, but it’s better than Biebs. Not much isn’t.
37. Willie Reed
- Something tells me he’s not up to playing with a shredded leg.
36. Gorgui Dieng
35. Ray McCallum
- They sound too much like Luol Deng and C.J. McCollum.
34. Glen Rice Jr.
33. Tim Hardaway Jr.
- 90s nostalgia:
Hopefully they last longer in the league than Patrick Ewing Jr.
Sneaky grammatical nightmares
32. Antawn Jamison
31. Dwyane Wade
- They’ve been around long enough for us to know their unique spelling of their first names, but the Twitterverse still butchers them from time to time. Sigh.
30. Maalik Wayns
- Just not sure what happened here.
29. Greivis Vasquez
- Good Griev.
Unnecessarily difficult last names
Lots of additional or silent or missing or mysterious letters in these names:
28. Josh Akognon
27. Kelly Olynyk
26. Shane Battier
25. Tim Ohlbrecht
24. Dwight Buycks
23. Andre Roberson
- Roberson will be this era’s Chris Andersen: a totally normal last name with one minor, subtle change.
Just out of control
22. Giannis Antetokounmpo
- I mentioned Giannis in my not-so lottery mock draft 1.0 and was in the hardest level of my NBA Spelling Bee, with Donatas being featured in the latter post as well. They both have this year’s potential to be the next Omer Asik in the ways broadcasters will try pronouncing their names.
Awkward when heard out of context
20. Rudy Gay
- Maybe a controversial pick but, like the other two in this category, it’s self-explanatory when heard out of context.
19. Tyler Hansbrough
- Saying anything at a bar ending with ‘bro’ is bound to get juiceheads all sorts of revved up.
18. Enes Kanter
- There’s no good way to pronounce ‘Enes’ around people who don’t follow basketball.
Names that just rub me the wrong way
17. Bismack Biyombo
- At least it rolls off the tongue, but it will never replace my love for saying “Dikembe Mutommmmmbooooooo”.
16. O.J. Mayo
- I strongly dislike mayonnaise.
15. Allen Crabbe
- Just bad luck having a name that sounds like a word to describe short-tempered people.
14. Alonzo Gee
- Should change his first name to Squee.
13. Jonas Jerebko
12. Jonas Valanciunas
- The Jonas Brothers ruined it for me.
11. Timofey Mozgov
- I feel like I’m talking about a five-year-old when I say “Timofey”.
10. Brook Lopez
9. Robin Lopez
- It’s hard to take any player seriously with names like Brook and Robin, but that might work to their advantage.
8. Andrea Bargnani
- Reminds me of bologna. Ew.
7. Xavier Henry
- Saying Xavi-ay instead of Xavier is just too much work.
- Reminds me of blotchy skin.
- Last name reminds me of a talking head on a morning show that I cannot stand.
The Final Four
4. Dennis Schroeder
- If the NBA doesn’t work out, he has the name to be a chess prodigy.
- A near-mix of a stereotypical basketball name and a stereotypical occupation on the countryside.
2. Boris Diaw
- If you told me 20 years ago someone named Boris would D up the MVP in the NBA Finals I would’ve laughed then burped up my milk.
1. Hedo Turkoglu