Friday night was the long-awaited nickname night in the NBA.
The Heat and Nets eschewed their normal jersey names to put nicknames on the back of their uniforms. Ray Allen was "J. Shuttlesworth" and LeBron James was "King James." Paul Pierce was "Truth" and Kevin Garnett was "The Big Ticket."
It was a fun way for players to express themselves and a great chance to maybe sell some more jerseys.
Everyone was getting into the act. Even Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy:
Yes, the "Notorious JVG" and the "Gray Mamba" are sure to be best sellers when all is said and done.
These nickname jerseys are clearly somewhat of a money grab for the NBA. Many will probably go out and buy J. Shuttlesworth jerseys to commemorate one of the best basketball-themed movies ever made. It was a unique idea that got a lot of positive reviews -- unlike the sleeved jerseys which have almost universally been panned and even questioned by some players.
According to Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press, the Heat were the ones who came up with the idea and approached the NBA about it, seeking an "elite" opponent to debut them against.
Also, something that probably needs to be clarified: This whole jersey nickname thing was the Heat's idea, not the NBA's.— Brian Mahoney (@briancmahoney) January 11, 2014
Heat thought of it, asked for another high-profile team to play to go along with it, and the Nets were chosen.— Brian Mahoney (@briancmahoney) January 11, 2014
What made the game even greater was the finish.
The game went into double overtime with Shaun "S. Dot" Livingston proving to be the star. He played in 50 minutes and scored 19 points to go with 11 rebounds. An incredible feat considering everything Livingston has gone through. Joe "JJ" Johnson had 32 points on 14-for-25 shooting.
LeBron "King James" James fouled out in the second overtime but not before scoring 36 points on 12-for-21 shooting.
Miami lost both games in their New York road trip as the Nets and Knicks appear to be straightening themselves out somewhat in the crowded Eastern Conference.
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