Of late, Lisa Leslie has subbed in for Shaquille O’Neal on TNT’s studio team, and in the tradition of the Big Aristotle, she has taken to bestowing nicknames on everything and everyone. When commenting on the competiveness of Russell Westbrook, she said, “He plays like a Warrior. Now I know he’s not a Golden State Warrior, but we should call him Warrior.” (This quotation may not be exact.) Anyway, I recently sat down with Lisa Leslie to hear her spew out a few more nicknames:
Bryan Harvey: So, if we’re calling Russell Westbrook ‘Warrior,’ then what are we now calling Durant?
Lisa Leslie: I’m glad you asked, Bryan. I’m thinking maybe we call KD Westbrook from now on?
BH: I’m not sure I follow. Does this mean Durantula never caught on?
LL: Durantula is dead. KD is the new Westbrook, and Westbrook is the new Warrior.
BH: Who was the old Warrior?
LL: Try and keep up, Bryan.
BH: Wouldn’t Dell Curry or Rick Barry be the Old Warrior?
LL: Who else do you want me to name?
BH: How about some role players?
LL: Glad you asked. I’ve been thinking maybe we call Tristan Thompson Bull.
BH: But why?
LL: Because he plays like a Bull.
BH: Likable or like a Bull?
LL: All of the above.
BH: How come that’s never been someone’s nickname?
LL: I’ve also been thinking a lot about Draymond Green. I know he’s not a role player, but he’s also not the main guy. I think we should call him Wizard because his game is magic.
BH: Why not just Magic then?
LL: Stay with me, Bryan, this is my job. We’re calling Draymond Wizard because he’s behind the scenes and yet still pivotal to his team’s success.
BH: Like Gandalf?
LL: What does Gandalf have to do with basketball, Bryan?
BH: I don’t know. Sorry I asked. What else you got?
LL: What if we called Al Jefferson Raptor?
BH: Aren’t raptors fast or something?
LL: Because his game is extinct, Bryan.
BH: Yeah, I get it. I know he’s a big man and all, but wouldn’t that name fit better with someone like Bosh or Anthony Davis?
LL: Bosh played for the Raptors, so that would just be confusing. I also think we should just call Davis The Rocket because the sky is the limit.
BH: Shouldn’t space be the limit? I’ve never liked that phrase.
LL: Now my next one’s going to be a bit controversial. The man already has a pretty good nickname, but he doesn’t play quite like he used to.
LL: What if we called the Black Mamba Nick or Knick?
BH: I really don’t get it.
LL: Try and follow me, Bryan. This is my job, and it’s complicated. Anyway, we could call Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba, Nick because he plays like Nick Young now. Or, we call him Knick because he plays like a certain high volume scorer on the New York Knicks. Did you follow me?
BH: Yeah, I followed you. Anything else?
LL: What if we called Derrick Rose The Matador?
BH: That just seems downright cruel, doesn’t it?
Bryan Harvey tweets @LawnChairBoys.