What's in a Name?!

Their names are iconic, their game is legendary, we’re talking guys like Jordan, Kobe, LeBron and Magic. They are on such a high platform that they only need to be referred to by one name.

But…. What if the new headlining superstar coming out of college had the name of Dick Trickle or Thadious Cornwell. Would we give him a nickname, would he change his name to accommodate his greatness, or would his name just “become” cool to match his skills?

We are somewhat dealing with this exact instance which coincides the emergence of Giannis Antetokounmpo and is Kristaps Porzingis, both of which are primarily referred to by their nicknames. Giannis goes by “The Greek Freak” whereas Porzingis is often referred to as the “Unicorn” because of his amazing combination of size, skill and 3 point range.

A superstar these days also need to think about marketing their brand as well as instituting a logo that fits the individuals name. We often see a combination of the players name (or initials) and number worked into a stylish design. For great examples of this I urge you to google “Steph Curry logo” or “Chris Paul logo” and you will see some of the most creative versions of this. In the past, you just needed to worry about your skill set and your game, nowadays on top of all that you need to worry about your names marketability and whether your number can be worked into a stylish design for your BRAND.

In this day and age, everyone over the age of 8 or 9 has a phone/camera on them at all times, so as an athlete you need to always be careful as to what you say or do in the heat of the moment. Beyond worrying about what the cameras may catch you doing, you now also need to be cautious of who you are sitting next to on the bench. For instance, if you have the last name of Gross, make sure you never stand next to Mr. Butt. Or say your last name is Hard, stay FAR FAR away from your teammates Long and Cox, otherwise you will make the Google pages once again. Don’t believe me, just google “funny side by side jersey names.”

In closing, having a long and difficult name definitely doesn’t hinder the way you play the game, BUT if you want to make $$ on the side from marketing and endorsements then you better come up with a catchy nickname and logo design. Or you can always go the way of many athletes in the past and change your name to accommodate your game. Thank you for taking the time to read through my first “four-guys.com” article. If you have questions, positive or negative reviews, or would like to further the discussion with me, feel free to email me at calder264@yahoo.com.


Calder Barnard (luckily I was never an elite athlete!)