The NBA is allowing members of the Nets and the Heat to wear nicknames on the back of their jerseys for select matchups this season. Names like King James, D-Wade, Truth and Big Ticket will adorning the back of jerseys from time to time. Overall it seems like a brilliant idea. Players get to show off their own individuality and the league gets to make a few extra shekels in uniform sales.
As always though, I’m looking for the Suns’ spin on the biggest sports stories. Sure, I could sit here and tell you which current members of the team would have the coolest monikers on the back of their jerseys if they were included in the NBA experiment but quite frankly, that would just be lazier than Robert DeNiro’s performance in Grudge Match. With that in mind, it’s time to give you the Top 5 Coolest Nicknames for the Back of a Jersey in Suns history.
5) Alvan Adams: The Oklahoma Kid
Let’s be honest, during Alvan Adam’s heyday there wasn’t a cooler nickname than “The Oklahoma Kid.” He was playing for a young NBA team in the “Wild West” and the secondary name sounded like something they’d call a John Wayne or Clint Eastwood character. It was a perfect fit for the young man with hair big enough to make any ‘80s band proud and a skill set that would have made him a superstar in a larger market. The only reason he wasn’t higher on the list was the fact that the kids nowadays wouldn’t find the nickname quite as rad back in my day.
4) Shawn Marion: The Matrix
When he was drafted in the late ‘90s, there was nothing cooler than the movie The Matrix. That’s why when Shawn Marion was given the same nickname, it was one of the most unique in the game. If it had been on the back of a jersey it would have been one of the league’s hottest sellers. Much like the popularity of the movies and Keanu Reeves career, though, it would have much less impact now.
3) Dan Majerle: Thunder
If only the NBA would have allowed the late ‘80s or early ‘90s Suns to wear nicknames, we could have witnessed one of the coolest moments in league history, Dan Majerle driving to the lane in short-shorts and a jersey that simply read Thunder. Sure, 20 years later we get to see jerseys that say Thunder on them on a nightly basis -- sorry Seattle -- but it would have been so much better if Thunder Dan and not, as Sonics fans say, Thunder, Damn was the one who first wore them.
2) Charles Barkley: Sir Charles
Forget King James. The original royalty nickname in the league was and always will be Sir Charles. LeBron may get the chance to actually wear it on his jersey but Charles Barkley would have made it even cooler. Let’s be honest, he hasn’t played the game in over a decade and he is still more well known than most athletes. He could also have an alternate nickname jersey with Round Mound of Rebound on it but it wouldn’t fit as nicely on the back of the jersey as it would almost make a complete circle since it is so long.
1) Connie Hawkins: Hawk
Connie Hawkins was the epitome of cool before the NBA even knew what that meant. His swagger, gold chain, facial hair and ability to soar through the air made him the forefather of what the NBA would become. His nickname, Hawk, was even more synonymous with suave attitude than the Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra. Although he did get to wear “Hawk” on the back of his Suns warmup jacket -- one of the coolest pieces of memorabilia in team history -- he never got to wear it on a jersey. It’s too bad, it could have been the most iconic jersey in league history as it would be emblazoned on the back of a Suns jersey in classic western font.