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The Rarest and Weirdest NBA Nicknames of All-Time

The Rarest & Weirdest NBA Nicknames of All-Time(Michael ‘Captain Marvel’ Jordan?!)

Basketball Reference is truly the bible of basketball. That site has every stat you could possibly imagine on it, and I use it constantly when researching for articles.

This frivolous article is no exception, as another fun thing that site does is it lists every nickname a player has ever been called, no matter how rare or obscure it is. And boy did we find some rare and obscure ones.

You think you’re a big NBA fan and know pretty much all there is to know about the league? Bet some of these nicknames for these big time NBA players didn’t make it on to your radar.

Michael Jordan – Money, Black Cat, Mr. June, Captain Marvel, Gang Boss (in China)

Bet you didn’t know the most famous basketball player of all-time’s first nickname in the NBA wasn’t Air or Air Jordan, but rather Captain Marvel? Apparently Jordan didn’t approve of it and put the kibosh on it. When he was a kid he was known as Black Cat, and Nike even named the Air Jordan 13s that. Money, Mr June and Gang Boss are basically self explanatory.


Stephen Curry – Fucks the Sky/Skyfucker

You can’t really find a more G-rated NBA star than Stephen Curry (other than his gross mouthguard habits). He looks like a kid, isn’t covered in tattoos and lives a scandal free life.

Yet, despite all this, the Chinese NBA fans have given him the foul, yet appropriate, nickname(s) of “Fucks the Sky” or “Skyfucker.” Appropriate nickname, but doubt we’ll see a pair of Under Armours named that (and apparently this moniker is too scandalous for Basketball Reference to list also).


Nik Stauskas – Sauce Castillo

Sadly my fellow Canuck Nik Stauskas didn’t make much of an impact in his NBA career (he’s actually out of the league currently and is playing in Spain).

However, his short NBA run did produce one of the greatest nicknames of all-time – Sauce Castillo. A clueless close captioning operator dubbed him that during a telecast of a game, and the name stuck.


Charles Barkley – The Prince of Pizza, Boy Gorge, The Flying Pig (China)

Sir Charles and The Round Mound of Rebound are his most well-known names, but China comes through once again with my favorite – The Flying Pig. But I won’t be calling him that to his face anytime soon.

Scottie Pippen – Second Best Under Heaven

China again. And what a fitting nickname this is. Not much else to say.

Magic Johnson – Buck, E.J. the Deejay

Some people might not even know Magic Johnson’s real first name is Earvin (Earvin Johnson Jr), considering he’s basically only known by his nickname, Magic.

But what if  he was never coined Magic? How about if he was known by his lesser known names instead, like E.J. the Deejay or Buck (short for Young Buck, which was given to him by veteran teammates when he was a high strung rookie)?

J.R. Smith – The Nerve Knife/The Psychotic Blade

Back to the East for another fitting, and funny, nickname.  J.R. Smith is known as The Nerve Knife or The Psychotic Blade for his maddening inconsistency. His teammates are sure to vouch for that.

Jeff Fox is the evil genius behind His work has also appeared in SLAM, Athlon Sports, FIGHT! & Fighters Only magazines,, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many other fine establishments across the globe.


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