Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Shaquille O'Neal Wants a New Nickname: The 'Green Monster'?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Shaquille O'Neal Wants a New Nickname: The 'Green Monster'?

Article excerpt

Shaquille O'Neal, the newest member of the Boston Celtics, has announced that he's looking for a new nickname. If you think he's just 'Shaq,' you haven't been paying attention.

There's no shortage of accomplishments in Shaquille O'Neal's basketball legacy. Likewise, the 7-foot-1, 325-pound center has seen no shortage of nicknames.

The 15-time all-star has toured five teams over his 18-year career. All the while, fans and sportscasters have called the iconic NBA center, rapper and actor such names as "The Diesel," "The Big Aristotle," and "The Big Shaqtus." A University of Phoenix MBA degree-holder, "Dr. Shaq" is a former number one draft pick turned rookie of the year. A 38-year-old father of six, "Shaq Daddy" has been crowned most valuable player. "Wilt Chamberneezy" has won four NBA titles and an Olympic gold medal and he inspired the term "Hack- a-Shaq" to describe when teams purposely foul an opponent's poor free-throw shooters.

And, as "Shaqovic" brings his reverse pivot move dubbed "Black Tornado" to his new home with the Celtics, he's searching for yet another name to substitute the more than a dozen he has already.

But, while Mr. O'Neal, perhaps Boston's new "Green Monster," may boast more than most athletes, nicknames are a long held tradition in the sports world.

Here are some of the most clever and memorable courtesy Google, ESPN and the rest of the World Wide Web:


"The Round Mound of Rebound" "Sir Charles" - Charles Barkley

"Phi Slamma Jamma" - Univ. of Houston men's basketball teams (early 1980s)

Earvin "Magic" Johnson

Michael "Air" Jordan

"The Human Eraser" - Marvin Webster

Dominique "The Human Highlight Film" Wilkins

Pete "Pistol Pete" Maravich

David "Skywalker" Thompson

"The Mailman" - Karl Malone

"The Croatian Sensation" - Tony Kukoc

"Larry Legend" "Basketball Jesus" - Larry Bird

"The Human Victory Cigar" - Darko Milicic

"The Professor" - Grayson Boucher

"LBJ" "King James" - LeBron James

"AK-47" - Andrei Kirilenko

"Starbury" - Stephon Marbury

"Dr. J" - Julius Irving

Agent Zero - Gilbert Arenas

Bill "The Owl Without a Vowel" Mlkvy

"Two Time" - Steve Nash


"The Big Tuna" - Bill Parcels

Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch

O. …

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