Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Weird Basketball Names (NBA)

  • Forest Able (AKA “Frosty”)
  • Pero Antic (once played for Lokomotiv Kuban)
  • Quincy Acy
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Al Attles (also a successful manager)
  • Martynas Andriuskevicius (7’2”)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (“The Greek Freak”)
  • Alaa Abdelnaby 

  • Butch Beard (also a head coach)
  • Wesley Bialosuknia (“The Mad Bomber”)
  • Mookie Blaylock (also the original name of Pearl Jam)
  • Butch Booker (real name Harold)
  • Bob Boozer (Gold Medal winner)
  • Ticky Burden (real name Luther)
  • Vander Blue
  • Rasual Butler
  • Zelmo Beaty (“The Big Z”)
  • Leandro Barbosa (“The Brazilian Blur”)
  • Chauncey Billups (5-time All Star)
  • Otis Birdsong 
  • Brian Brunkhorst (“Bronk”)
  • Bucky Bockhorn 
  • Orbie Bowling ("Orb")
  • Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje (pre-med major at Georgetown)
  • Bismack Biyombo (siblings include Billy, Biska, Bikim, Bimeline, Bikelene, and Bimela)
  • Uwe Blab 

  • Demetrius Calip
  • Bruno Caboclo (once played for the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants)
  • Vonteego Cummings (middle name is Marfeek)
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (8th pick overall in 2013)
  • Corky Calhoun (Penn grad)
  • Cornelius Cash 
  • Rastko Cvetkovic
  • Zarko Cabarkapa
  • Bob Cluggish
  • Chubby Cox (Kobe Bryant’s uncle)

Bob Cluggish

  • Dick Dickey (once played for the Anderson Packers)
  • Dick Duckett
  • Zabian Dowdell (once played for SLUC Nancy Basket)
  • Dell Demps (current GM of the Pelicans)
  • DeSagana Diop (speaks 5 languages, including Wolof)
  • Predrag Drobnjak 
  • Fennis Dembo (the last of 12 children, his first name is a play on the French finis)

  • Cleanthony Early
  • Festus Ezeli (full name is Ifeanyi Festus Ezeli-Ndulue)
  • Ndudi Ebi (once played for Basket Rimini Crabs)
  • Ledell Eackles
  • Bulbs Ehlers (played for John Wooden – in high school!)

  • Herm Fuetsch
  • Adonal Foyle (sole NBA player from St. Vincent and the Grenadines)
  • Frido Frey (1st German-born player in the NBA)
  • World B. Free (born Lloyd, he officially changed his name)

Herm Fuetsch

  • Marcin Gortat
  • Manu Ginobili (Gold Medal winner)
  • Bato Govedarica (real 1st name Zdravko)
  • Pau Gasol (former #3 pick in draft)
  • Mickell Gladness (former teams include Matrixx Magixx and Townsville Crocodiles)
  • Litterial Green
  • Gorham Getchell (also played in the NFL)


  • Anfernee Hardaway (“Penny”)
  • Herm Hedderick (career totals include 4 points, 4 rebounds & 2 assists)
  • Kleggie Hermsen
  • Montrezl Harrell (siblings include Cadarius and Quatauis)
  • Nene Hilario (birth name was Maybyner)

Of Canisius College, that is

  • Zydrunas Ilgauskas
  • Didier Ilunga-Mbenga (speaks 5 languages, including Lingala and Tshiluba)
  • Royal Ivey 

Zydrunas Ilgauskas

  • Noble Jorgensen
  • Sarunas Jasikevicius (a brother, Vytenis, also played professional basketball)
  • Othyus Jeffers (once played for the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters)
  • Wah Wah Jones (came from younger sister's attempt to say Wallace / only individual to play for both Adolph Rupp and “Bear” Bryant)
  • Cheese Johnson (real name was Lynbert)

Wah Wah Jones

  • Herm Klotz (“Red”)
  • Lonnie Klutz (3 games, 0 points, 5 rebounds)
  • Nenad Krstic (“Curly”)
  • Ibo Kutluay (5 games, 0 points, 1 rebound)
  • Ognjen Kuzmic
  • Curtis Kitchen
  • Kerry Kittles
  • Kosta Koufos
  • Herb Krautblatt
  • Goo Kennedy (real name Eugene)
  • Pickles Kennedy

Ognjen Kuzmic

  • Priest Lauderdale (holds dual American/Bulgarian citizenship)
  • Manny Leaks
  • Fat Lever (real name is Lafayette)

  • Martin Muursepp (only NBA player from Estonia)
  • Arvydas Macijauskas 
  • Cuttino Mobley (“The Cat”)
  • Jamario Moon
  • Bill Mlkvy (dentist after his basketball career was over)
  • O.J. Mayo (full name is Ovinton J’Anthony Mayo)
  • Luc Mbah a Moute (is a genuine Cameroonian prince)
  • Monk Meineke 
  • Fab Melo (short for Fabricio)
  • Pops Mensah-Bonsu (full name is Nana Papa Yaw Dwene Mensah-Bonsu)

Bill Mlkvy (“The Owl Without a Vowel”)

  • Moochie Norris (named after the Cab Calloway song "Minnie the Moocher")
  • Jusuf Nurkic 
  • Rasho Nesterovic (short for Radoslav)
  • Ivano Newbill 
  • Cotton Nash (also played major league baseball)
  • Swen Nater (spent part of his youth in an orphanage)
  • Nerlens Noel (6th pick in the 2013 draft)
  • Boniface N'Dong (Senegalese/German dual national)

  • Bo Outlaw (somehow managed to play 10 years in the NBA with a .521 FT average)
  • Alan Ogg (7’2”)
  • Mark Olberding
  • Olumide Oyedeji (has played in the US, the UK, Russia, Germany, Greece, China, Japan, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Spain, Nigeria, Italy, Jordan, and Kuwait)

  • Kostas Papanikolaou
  • Easy Parham (real name Estes)
  • Med Park (real name Medford)
  • Olden Polynice 
  • Zaza Pachulia (real name Zaur)
  • Togo Palazzi (5th pick overall in NBA draft ... in 1954)
  • Smush Parker (has played in the US, China, Russia, Greece, Venezuela, Croatia, Tunisia, Morrocco, the Dominican Republic, Iran, and Mongolia)
  • Zarko Paspalj
  • Pavel Podkolzin (former teams include Sibitelecom Lokomotiv and Metallurg Magnitogorsk)
  • Marlbert Pradd (all-time leading scorer at Dillard Univ.)
  • Kristaps Porzingis

Easy Parham

  • Zeljko Rebraca
  • Efthimi Rentzias (once played for Ulkerspor)
  • Pooh Richardson (1st pick ever of the Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • Tree Rollins (born Wayne Monte Rollins)
  • Rajon Rondo (4-time All Star)

  • Wally Szczerbiak (his dad Walt also played, in the ABA)
  • Odie Spears (born Marion Odicea Spears)
  • Soumaila Samake (has played for the Cincinnati Stuff, Greenville Groove, Geoplin Slovan, Detal Inowroclaw, and Mornar Bar)
  • Otto Schnellbacher (also 2-time NFL Pro Bowler)
  • Thabo Sefolosha 
  • Tornike Shengelia (“Toko”)
  • Cheikh Samb
  • Uros Slokar
  • Diamond Stone
  • Stan Stutz (led the NCAA in scoring for 3 straight years)
  • Belus Smawley (one of the inventors of the jump shot)
  • Pape Sow (pronounced “pop sow”)
  • Tiago Splitter 
  • Whitey Skoog (born Myer Upton Skoog)
  • Predrag Savovic
  • Detlef Schrempf (also the title of a song by the group Band of Horses)
  • God Shammgod (is actually a Jr. / also went by the name Shammgod Wells)

Wally Szczerbiak

  • Terry Teagle 
  • Hasheem Thabeet (sole NBA player from Tanzania)
  • John Tschogl
  • Corny Thompson (real name Cornelius)
  • Sedale Threatt (once played for Paris Basket Racing)
  • Lou Tsioropoulos
  • Mirsad Turkcan (born Mirsad Jahovic)
  • Hedo Turkoglu (currently an advisor to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan )
  • Zan Tabak
  • Dragan Tarlac
  • Yuta Tabuse (sadly does not rhyme with "caboose" / the “Michael Jordan of Japan”)

John Tschogl

  • Ekpe Udoh (born Ekpedeme Friday Udoh)
  • Ime Udoka (1st professional team was the Fargo-Moorhead Beez)
  • Roko Ukic (middle name is Lenny)

  • Ratko Varda (played 1 NBA game, for 6 minutes, scoring 5 points)
  • Stojko Vrankovic (7'2")
  • Butch Van Breda Kolff (Princeton grad)
  • Whitey Von Nieda (real name Stanley)
  • Kiki Vandeweghe (born Ernest Maurice VanDeWeghe III / his dad played in the NBA & his mom was a Miss America)

Butch Van Breda Kolff was also manager of the New Orleans Jazz

  • Elnardo Webster 
  • Bonzi Wells (nickname shortened from original nickname “Bonbon”)
  • Taurean Waller-Prince 
  • Clarence Weatherspoon (“Baby Barkley”)
  • Win Wilfong (born Alva Winfred Wilfong)
  • Von Wafer (born Vakeaton Quamar Wafer / AKA “The Dutch Cookie”)
  • Harthorne Wingo 
  • Metta World Peace (born Ron Artest, he officially changed his name)

Elnardo Webster

  • Charlie Yelverton
  • Korleone Young (born Suntino Korleone Young)

Korleone Young

  • Paul Zipser (born Paul Viktor Louis Zipser)
  • Ivica Zubac (once played for Mega Leks)
  • Zeke Zawoluk (real name Robert)

Cough, please
(Zeke Zawoluk, 1951)

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