Nicknames are one of the best ways for fans to feel some sort of connection with their home team. In 2014, some teams unveiled nickname jerseys, with each player adorning the back of their jersey with an endearing name.
The San Antonio Spurs have hosted the Klaw, The Big Fundamental, and The Admiral. Currently, most of the Spurs are simply not big enough names to have nationally-known nicknames, but there is a small handful, according to Basketball-Reference.
For those of you who don’t know, Basketball-Reference is one of the best resources for stats and play-by-play. Amusingly enough, the site also lists nicknames for players with well-known (and some lesser-known) monikers.
Jakob Poeltl - "Jake Puddle"
I’m sorry, what? This has to be some poorly interpreted version of his name. Jakob Poeltl's jump shot is not “wet,” as the kids say. He goes by Jak, not Jake. No, frankly I’m just lost on this one.
Maybe it has some affectionate backstory I’m missing out on, but it seems like something a lazy announcer would call him rather than something he earned.
Zach Collins - "Z-Bo"
Z-Bo is Zach Randolph, not Zach Collins. The only thing worse than stealing a better player’s nickname is having one that makes absolutely zero sense (see above).
The only explanation would be that in high school he told people to call him that (which is incredibly lame) and it somehow stuck. Maybe he was a Randolph fan growing up? Maybe he can play with similar success as well.
Al-Farouq Aminu - "Chief"
Al-Farouq Aminu was never really a leader on an NBA team, is not Native American, and isn't old enough to have a nickname like this. While it isn’t stolen or void of any amount of sense, it is still silly, boring, and not something I can hear a play-by-play announcer yelling when he makes a highlight play.
Dejounte Murray - "Baby Boy"
Dejounte Murray does have a baby, puckish face. He also seems to still have a boyish exuberance about him, so this one makes sense.
Unfortunately, this nickname seems to be more of a term of affection used by coaching staff rather than something we fans can get behind in mass, so I just feel a little left out. It’s not a bad nickname by any stretch. There are just better ones out there.
Lonnie Walker IV - "Skywalker"
Lonnie Walker also goes by Buddha, but since that’s his social media name, it was clearly self-imposed, which has been established as decidedly lame. Skywalker plays off his real name, references his athletic ability, and is a timeless pop culture reference. Overall a very solid nickname, and I may refer to him as Skywalker in future articles.
Keldon Johnson - "Big Body"
Big Body is probably the most used nickname on the entire team. It’s not the best, but it’s top three and it definitely encapsulates Keldon Johnson's playstyle, energy, and general aggression on the court. He makes his presence known no matter what, and he has the nickname to fit.
Thaddeus Young - "Thagic Johnson"
Another timeless reference to pop culture, this one actually being basketball-related. I also love that, while Thaddeus Young is a good basketball player, he is no comparison to Magic Johnson. I appreciate the humor there.
It’s not as good as the best of the best, but it is a very good moniker. It does sound very similar to “Tragic Johnson,” so if Spurs fans feel the need to flame him, they could run with that. It’s a double-edged sword.
Doug McDermott - "Dougie McBuckets"
I’m such a dork. I think this nickname is maybe the best in the NBA. Move over Brow, Beard, King, and Chef Curry. Dougie McBuckets is in town. I actually refuse to address him as anything else. It’s perfect.
Don’t ask me why, but Dougie just gives off dorky vibes, so the “Dougie” certainly fits, and he’s also one of the best shooters in the league, so the “McBuckets” also makes a lot of sense. Is it as cool as Thagic Johnson or Big Body? Not at all, but man does it make me laugh.