Shaquille O'Neal wants a new nickname: the 'Green Monster'?

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.

Evan Agostini/AP/File
Shaquille O'Neal, newly of the Boston Celtics, is in the market for a new nicknames. There have been some great ones in the history of sports (and O'Neal has a few of them).

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.J. “The Juice” Simpson

"Purple People Eaters" – Minnesota Vikings' defensive line (1970s)

"Steel Curtain" – Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive line (1970s)

"Sweetness" – Walter Payton

"He Hate Me" – Rod Smart (XFL)

"The Galloping Ghost" – Red Grange

Jake "the Snake" Plummer

“The Bus” – Jerome Bettis

“The Assassin” – Jack Tatum

“Broadway Joe” – Joe Namath

“The Minister of Defense” – Reggie White


"The Chicoutimi Cucumber” – Georges Vezina

"The Great One" – Wayne Gretzky

"The Miracle on Ice" – US Olympic team defeats Soviets (1980)

"CuJo" – Curtis Joseph

Dave "Cementhead" Semenko


"Hands of Stone" – Roberto Duran

“The Thrilla in Manila” – match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazie (1975)

"Iron" Mike Tyson

“The Greatest” – Muhammad Ali


"Charlie Hustle" – Pete Rose

"Shoeless" Joe Jackson

Teddy Ballgame” “The Kid” "The Splendid Splinter" – Ted Williams

Rich "El Guapo" Garces

“The Bambino” “The Sultan of Swat” “Babe Ruth” – George Herman Ruth, Jr.

"The Say Hey Kid" – Willie Mays

“The Big Unit” – Randy Johnson

Leroy “Satchel” Paige

“The Big Hurt” – Frank Thomas

Jim “Catfish” Hunter

“Fat Elvis” “Big Puma” – Lance Berkman

Mr. October” – Reggie Jackson

"The Yankee Clipper" – Joe DiMaggio

“Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron

“The Flying Dutchman” – Honus Wagner

The Wizzard of Oz – Ozzie Smith

“Wild Thing” Mitch Williams

William “Mookie” Wilson


Lefty” – Phil Mickelson

“The Golden Bear” – Jack Nicklaus

“Tiger” – Eldrick Woods

“Lumpy” – Tim Herron

“Boss of the Moss” – Loren Roberts

“The Pink Panther – Jesper Parnevik

“The Shark” – Greg Norman

“Grandmaster Funk” – Fred Funk

“Boom Boom” – Fred Couples


Roger “Federer Express”

“Mosquito” – Juan Carlos Ferrero

“The Punisher” – Andre Agassi


Florence “Flo Jo” Joyner


“The Flying Tomato” – Shaun White

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