This could have been on the upper half of the list if not for the player who owns it: Martell Webster. He was given the nickname obviously because of his last name. Webster is a popular dictionary and dictionary has definitions. Ergo, “The Definition.” This is more appropriate for a superstar like Kobe Bryant or LeBron James because they really define the game. Still, it sounds really badass and we can’t ignore that.
9. J-SMOOVE – JOSH SMITH
The cheesy integration of the words “smooth” and “move” might throw you off a bit, but when you see how Josh Smith plays, you’ll be 100% convinced. He’s the George Gervin 2.0. The way he glides in the air before throwing off a thunderous dunk is simply marvelous. The way he stalks before rejecting a breakaway lay-up is just so jaw-dropping. Smith’s moves are smoother than Michael Jackson’s silk panties!
8. THE BLACK JESUS – AMARE STOUDEMIRE
Beware sinners! It’s the “Black Jesus!” The nickname is straight out from an And-1 Mix Tape. The Black Jesus gives off a you-don’t-want-to-mess-with-me-or-else-I’l
7. THE STRAITJACKET – RON ARTEST
This sounds funny when it first reverberates in your ear. But if you think about it, it perfectly describes how Ron Artest plays defense—like a straitjacket! You can’t really move freely when he is guarding you with his wide body and strong physique. But then again, it can also work against the Sacramento Kings veteran. “The Straitjacket” also fits him because of his mental-institution-worthy moments on and off the court.
6. THE MATRIX – SHAWN MARION
This nickname never gets old even if the movie it was based on is already 3,104 years old. Shawn Marion was given this moniker because of the way he seemingly suspends time ala Neo with his high-wire-above-the-rim attacks.
5. THE BLADE – BRANDON ROY
Forget Wesley Snipes. Forget those knifes you see on Home Shopping shows. The only blade you want to remember is Brandon Roy. The nickname was chosen among entries in a contest conducted by Slam Magazine and it truly is a winner. “The Blade” is apt for
4. APOLLO 33 – JAMARIO MOON
Jamario Moon is the only rookie on this list. That says a lot about him because he was already given a bangin’ nickname in just his first year in the NBA. The moniker clearly plays off his surname. The 70s moon buggy was named Apollo and the 33 was added to include his jersey number. His finesse and his amazing hang time will also remind you of men walking on the moon. A nickname never sounded so Grade 1 Science.
3. AK-47 – ANDREI KIRILENKO
What do you get when you add your initials and your jersey number? A cool nickname! Well, it helps if the sum is a rifle. A Russian rifle for a Russian player! This fits Andrei Kirilenko to a T with the way he fires statistical bullets across the board. The initials-jersey number formula doesn’t work for anyone else but him. Did he deliberately choose number 47 and had an unbelievable foresight that someone will come up with “AK-47”?
2. THE TRUTH – PAUL PIERCE
Credit Shaquille O’Neal for this one. Paul Pierce’s nickname is probably the most threatening in the NBA today. It’s the alpha and the omega. The end-all and the be-all. It’s infallible! Paul Pierce is the truth and you can’t do anything about it. His consistent numbers throughout his 10-year career justify that his mad game is not a lie. No, I won’t use the cliché-pun-intended “The Truth will set you free” line on this one.
1. AGENT ZERO – GILBERT ARENAS
“Hibachi,” “Black President,” “Eastern Assassin,” call him whatever you want, no other nickname stuck with Gilbert Arenas than “Agent Zero.” This really is kickass since he really is the top agent of the Wizards. A good agent always finds ways to solve problems and always has the guts to take matters into his own hands. That’s how Arenas plays. That’s why he’s “Agent Zero.” Now, if he can only play like an All-Star again and not just be Agent Zero Impact.