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NBA Jersey to Feature Nicknames Instead of Last Names

September 26th, 2013 at 11:24 AM
By Matt Agne

The NBA has always tried to stay ahead of the curve and set trends. However, their newest idea may have taken it too far. The NBA is discussing the use of uniforms featuring players nicknames on the back instead of their last names.

'Basketball' photo (c) 2010, Michael Saechang - license:

While most fans like the fact teams have alternate jerseys, the idea of the NBA putting patches and advertisements all over their uniforms — making them a walking billboard or Nascar paint job — has been widely hated. While those plans have been put on the back burner it hasn't stopped the NBA from messing with jerseys in different ways.

Most will say that you play for the name on the front of your jersey not the name on the back of it. However, the NBA is taking that saying further by basically dismissing the importance of the name on the back of the jersey all together. The NBA has plans to have the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets play one another wearing jerseys with player nicknames on the back instead of their last names.

CBS New York reports the NBA is considering having the Heat and Nets wearing “nickname jerseys” in at least one of their four matchups this season.

For now, only the Heat and the Nets would be taking part. It’s unclear how many times those teams would wear the nickname jerseys, or if they would ever wear them against other opponents.

“It shows growth in our league and it shows we do adapt to what’s going on around us,” said Allen, the Heat guard who plans to wear Shuttlesworth on his jersey, a nod to his character from the “He Got Game” film. “And we’re still kids, playing a kids’ game. Even though we’re now men playing a kids’ game, we still remember where we come from. Everybody had a nickname and it’s a way to let the fans in a little bit more.”

Players were asked to submit what names they would want on the jerseys.

“Fans will like it and so will a lot of the players,” Allen said. “Guys will get a good kick out of it.”

However, not everyone agrees with Allen. After all, some players still realize this is a professional league.

There's little doubt that there are Nets fans who would love to see Paul Pierce in a jersey with “The Truth” on the back, or Kevin Garnett  with "KG" or “The Big Ticket.” replacing Garnett. In the same way, there's certainly Heat fans who would love to see LeBron James wear a “King James” jersey, or Dwyane Wade have “D-Wade” written across his back.

Let's be honest, there's plenty of New York Knicks fans who would immediately run to the team store if Carmelo Anthony had a "Melo" jersey, or if Amare Stoudemire has a "Stat" jersey for sale. Could you imagine how many jersey's they'd sell if Iman Shumpert had a "KnicksTape" jersey for sale?

The problem is, that's exactly what this idea is all about. This has nothing to do with being cool or shows the growth of the NBA like Ray Allen tried to say it was. No, this is purely about money. It's the same reason why teams come out with alternate jerseys. It's purely to boost sales.

Quite frankly, a league who fines players for not wearing suits when they sit on the bench when they're hurt has no business bastardizing their uniforms. This is hypocritical and purely for profit.

This is nothing more than a marketing scheme. What's more, players will eat this idea up. Why? Because in the NBA stars are built and pushed to the forefront. They're told they are more important than the team so why wouldn't they love the attention being put on the name on the back of the jersey instead of the one on the front?

What do you think? Do you like the idea? Would you like to see the Knicks wear "nickname jerseys"? How fast would you run out to get that Shumpert jersey?

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Tags: Amare Stoudemire, Basketball, Brooklyn Nets, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Iman Shumpert, kevin garnett, LeBron James, Miami Heat, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen

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