Heat and Nets poised to use nicknames on jerseys
MIAMI: One of the match-ups between the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets this year may feature a slightly different lineup, with ‘King James’, ‘The Truth’ and ‘KG’ replacing the more familiar names of the players on the floor.
The NBA is considering having members of the two Eastern Conference rivals wear their nicknames on the backs of their jerseys in at least one of their four games this season. The league hasn’t officially announced the plan, but the teams have been aware of the likelihood of it happening for several weeks.
Players were asked to submit what names they would want on the jerseys.
Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James is expected to wear ‘King James’, Brooklyn forward Paul Pierce has been called ‘The Truth’ for many years, and fellow Nets forward Kevin Garnett has long been known by his initials.
‘‘It shows growth in our league and it shows we do adapt to what’s going on around us,’’ said Ray Allen, the Heat guard who plans to wear ‘Jesus Shuttlesworth’ on his jersey, a nod to his character from the 1998 Spike Lee film He Got Game.
‘‘And we’re still kids, playing a kids’ game. Even though we’re now men playing a kids’ game, we still remember where we come from. Everybody had a nickname and it’s a way to let the fans in a little bit more.’’
The Heat and Nets are among the preseason favourites in the Eastern Conference, which Miami have won in each of the past three seasons.