Move over, James. Make way, Allen. All hail King James and Jesus Shuttlesworth.
There is talk going around the NBA that the league is planning to let the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets wear "nickname jerseys" in their head-to-head matchups in the 2013-14 season. While the league has not yet made an official announcement about the rule change, it seems that teams are already aware of the possibility.
As of the moment, only the Heat and Nets are preparing for the jersey change. Details are not yet available about the frequency of the teams wearing nicknames on their jerseys, or if they will get to wear the new jerseys in games against other teams.
Some players have already been asked to submit a list of names they would want to be stitched on to their jerseys. Reigning MVP LeBron James is reportedly wearing "King James." Paul Pierce has been called "The Truth" for some time now and is expected to use that nickname. Ray Allen, who played high school player Jesus Shuttlesworth in the 1998 film He Got Game, might choose to use the name of his character.
"We're still kids, playing a kids' name. Even though now we're men playing a kids' game, we remember where we came from. Everybody has a nickname and it's a way to let the fans in a little bit more," Allen said.
The league's latest alleged move reminds many of former XFL running back Rod Smart, who used the name "He Hate Me" on his Las Vegas Outlaws jersey. Some of Smart's fellow XFL players used their jerseys to answer his nickname, such as "I Hate He" and "I Hate He Too".
Not everyone is excited about the nickname jerseys, though.
Heat forward Shane Battier, who wanted to use "Batman" on his jersey, will instead use "Shaneo" as Warner Brothers holds the copyright to the superhero character.
Other players think that nicknames do not add anything to the game.
"The nickname makes it more about the individual," Phoenix Suns point guard Kendall Marshall said on Twitter, adding that the surname says more about a person's family and upbringing. "It's still a team sport. Represent your team, your family, and go out there and play."
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