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REPORT: Athletes Running Out Of Nicknames

In a shocking development, scientists have found that the nation's professional athletes have nearly depleted the natural nickname reserves. The four major sports, once teeming with colorful descriptors that deftly married accuracy and hyperbole, are suddenly facing a harsh new world where fans can't even count on nicknames bordering as "mildly clever."

The trend began its downward spiral in earnest with the rise of "A-Rod," "F-Rod" and "K-Rod," but the advent of Twitter has hastened along the inevitable. The Golden State Warriors are just one of the many teams suffering from this nickname shortage.

The last couple of weeks have seen Twitter abuzz with speculation about the renewed NBA season and its current, hectic free agency. The Internet is alive with rumors about "CP3" and "D12," to say nothing of the recent Heisman Trophy win by "RG3." The combining of a player's initials with their uniform number (or in the case of Robert Griffin III, a suffix) is running rampant. Even Chris Bosh's past nickname of "CB4" could not be counted on to actually be a reference to the Chris Rock vehicle of the same name, because no one actually remembers CB4.

If you doubt that the nicknames are rapidly dwindling, here is some harsh scientific proof: in 2008, a blog named Str8 Hoops set about cataloging the nicknames in the NBA. As you can see in their list of Warriors nicknames, even three years ago the list was populated with such non-nicknames as "Dre," "Cro," "Beli," "T-Hud" and yes, even an "MP2." The staunch outlier here is Sarunas Jaikevicius' apparent nickname, "Jazzy Cabbages," which as far as we know, may be the last truly amazing nickname ever given.

Compare that to 2011, when even the official Wikipedia list of nicknames in basketball -- an academic source if there ever was one -- shows no current Warriors players with an official, recorded nickname. We know there is at least one, of course: Monta Ellis, "The Mississippi Missile." Sure, it's not a great nickname, but someone was at least trying somewhere along the line with Monta.

So for the 2011-2012 season, perhaps it is the duty of all Warriors fans to ensure that there will still be nicknames for professional athletes. Spectacular, larger-than-life nicknames like the type we experienced when we were young. Not some lazy combination of the first letter or syllable of a player's first name with the first syllable of their last name or -- even worse -- their initials and number. Let's leave some fun and imagination for future generations, before it's too late.

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