For the 50 worst names in the NBA, click here.
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.
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. You can view the 50 worst here. Here are the 50 best, in my expert opinion:
Born to ball
These names were made for the NBA:
50. Klay Thompson
Also sounds like a typical super-quick football player.
48. Kemba Walker
47. Kenyon Martin
Sometimes I think he’d make more money playing in the NHL.
46. Paul Pierce
45. Kobe Bryant
44. Tyson Chandler
His ranking is actually biased only because I once named a huge, fearless orange cat after him.
43. LeBron James
Would have been a baseball player if his first name was spelt LeBraun.
42. Amare Stoudemire
41. Trey Burke
Deceiving on paper
Until I was a senior in high school, I’d look at my opponents’ rosters online and see names that either gave off the impression they suck or ones that would make me shake in fear. Here are ones that would involve the former:
40. Derrick Rose
My favorite flower.
39. Carlos Boozer
A college student’s favorite name.
38. Jrue Holiday
His last name makes me think he’s one big Christmas tree.
37. Patty Mills
36. Kevin Love
Before Kevin Love shed his belly pudge in 2011, he might have been the least intimidating player in the league both on paper and in person.
35. Zaza Pachulia
Plain and simple: Zaza reminds me of pizza.
34. Jimmer Fredette
How seriously can you take anyone named Jimmer?
33. Patrick Beverley
Somehow not a name for any main character from 70s sitcoms.
32. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
His name would pass for someone who owns like five yachts.
31. Carrick Felix
Felix reminds me of lots and lots of orange cats. He would jump 20 spots if he changed his name to Garfield Felix.
30. Ricky Rubio
In another life, he was the star of every show on the Disney Channel.
Fun to say
Great names to yell when they make a huge play:
29. Marcin Gortat
As mentioned in the Phoenix Suns category of my standings predictions, Gortat has the perfect name to assign nicknames to. Same goes for…
28. Alexey Shved
27. Quincy Pondexter
‘Q-Pon’ might be more fun to yell, but still.
26. Rajon Rondo
25. Victor Oladipo
24. Manu Ginobili
By the end of the season, all three will be worth yelling by the crew on Inside the NBA or NBA TV:
23. Ekpe Udoh
22. Anderson Varejao
21. Luigi Datome
A storyline for the next decade: How long before he and Mario Chalmers are a backcourt duo?
20. Shabazz Muhammad
My favorite first name.
Just intimidating on paper
You could probably throw in any name from the Born to Ball category here, except the next group of names strike extra fear into me. Forget being left on an island to guard these guys, they’d make me quiver just from seeing their names on paper:
Tied-18. Brandon Knight
Tied-18. Travis Outlaw
Nobody wants to mess with a knight or an outlaw. Not even in 2013.
17. Garrett Temple
This name takes me back to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
16. DeMar DeRozan
I’m not sure why he’s here other than someone who has ‘De’ in their name twice must mean serious business.
15. Andre Drummond
Just sounds like someone who dunks on people (and has a sweet drumset).
14. Joakim Noah
This name is INTENSE.
13. Blake Griffin
His last name reminds me of Warcraft 2 and one of the coolest units to annoy opposing nerdlings with.
12. Nikola Pekovic
Everyone named Nikola sounds imposing to me. Nikolai has the same effect. Nicholas, however, sounds harmless.
11. Isaiah Canaan
A good name for any kind of athlete.
The Top Ten
10. Shawn Marion
I don’t know why, but ‘Marion’ sounds so cool to me.
9. Tiago Splitter
Perfect name for someone who makes a living playing on the hardwood.
8. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
“Carmeloooooooo Anthonayyyyyyyy” – Seemingly every time Melo touches the ball at MSG, yet I have no problem with it.
6. Ishmael Smith
Would be #1 if he changed his name to Love Turtles.
4. Festus Ezeli
Celebrates Festivus. Has to.
3. Iman Shumpert
I can’t pronounce his name correctly ever since I found his drop for The Basketball Jones podcasts, which actually led to Shumpert being ranked like 30 spots higher than he otherwise would’ve been.
2. Fab Melo
Some players have two first names, others have two last names, and Fab Melo has two nicknames.