When it comes to naming a team in the National Basketball Association, in my opinion, the name can fall in any one of five categories. Unbeknownst to many so-called “fans” of basketball, there is an unspoken hierarchy among the various team names. Well, unspoken until now. In a “Paints in the Point” exclusive, we go…
INSIDE THE NAME
In Part One of “Inside the Name,” we looked at animal team mascots in the Association. A week has passed, and now we move on to…
Part 2: Alliterations
Perhaps the next best option for a team in need of a nickname is to find one with alliterative qualities. For those not familiar with the alliteration, the Urban Dictionary offers this helpful definition:
“Alliteration articulates an artistic approach aimed at annotating and arranging alphabetic accoutrements as alarmingly affective alignments. Alliteration allows aspiring authors abilities above average approaches. Alliterative adroitness accentuates accomplishments (an appealing aspect appalling artistic arrangements attempt abominably).
Example: American athlete Adam Archuleta asphyxiating after an alliteration attack.”
Now that you are clear about what an alliteration is, it is now time to break down the “alliteration” type into its two subgroups.
The first, and far superior type of alliterative name is what I like to call the “classic alliteration.” Teams usually opt for this route, as it takes a minimal amount of effort on their part. A search for a classic alliteration goes as follows:
- Identify the city or state of where your team will be located.
- Look at the first letter of the aforementioned team location.
- Find a word in the section of the dictionary that begins with this letter.
- Finish your team-naming process by combining both parts.
Obviously, a search in this fashion is likely to produce irrelevant results, but that is the consequence of christening a cleverly constructed name. Case in point: of the teams in the Association, only the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Washington Wizards have “classic” alliterations, and neither make any sense. I have neither seen a cavalier in Cleveland, nor have I seen a wizard in Washington, despite visiting each city many times. However, a cursory search of the Internet revealed that Washington has been under the spell of wizardry for quite some time:
The other category of alliterative nicknames is the “wannabe alliterations.” These are the teams who desperately wanted to be alliterative, but their geographic location got in the way. The Los Angeles Lakers, the New Jersey Nets, the San Antonio Spurs, and the New York Knicks all want you to believe they belong in the upper crust of the alliteration allocation, but in fact, their names soundly sit at the bottom of the alliteration barrel.
As defined above, alliterations require subsequent syllabic sounds in a series of subjects. Therefore, when the second part of the geographical location of a team interferes with the natural rhythm of the alliteration, it falls into the category of the wannabes.
Of the wannabe alliterations, the New York Knicks stands out the most, as they add one more variable to the part of speech equation by having a silent consonant. Only observant fans and sportswriters who have a grasp of the English language might realize that there is, in fact, an alliteration. Though, in my opinion, if the Knicks were to undergo a rebranding process, dropping the “York” from its name, it could only be beneficial. Just imagine…
Announcer: “Presenting-enting-enting… the Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew Kniiiiiiicks! Now 33% better than the Old New York Knicks.”
To be honest, the rebranding would only last a few games, as the Knicks would most likely be winless and no better than the Old Knicks. Some things just never change.
Come back soon for Part 3 of “INSIDE THE NAME!”
- Wildcat: Bobcats
- “Creature I don’t want to meet in the back alley of a Chili’s:” Raptors, Bulls, Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Hornets
- “Generally harmless, can cause major damage to car:” Bucks
- “Classic” Alliteration: Cavaliers, Wizards
- “Wannabe” Alliteration: Lakers, Nets, Spurs, Knicks
- Names That Make Sense: Celtics, 76ers, Pacers, Trail Blazers, Nuggets, Rockets, Mavericks
- “Creative Laziness:” Pistons, Warriors, Hawks, (Lakers, Rockets)
- “Unemployed-uncle-who-can’t-be-bothered-to-even-pry-his-fat-butt-off-of-his-couch-to-defecate Laziness:” Clippers, Jazz, Kings, (Hornets, Grizzlies)
- Unacceptable: Suns, Heat, Magic, Thunder