Can You Identify the NBA Team If We Give You the Nicknames of 3 of Their Legends?


By: Gavin Thagard

7 Min Quiz

Image: Wikicommons by Keith Allison / Wikicommons by Howcheng

About This Quiz

A player is in their first NBA season, and the hype surrounding them has been through the roof. There's a reason they were the number-one draft pick, after all. But the veterans in the league aren't quite ready to accept them. This isn't college anymore, and in the NBA, players have to earn the respect of their peers. That's exactly what they do. Game after game, they show why they were so highly-touted coming out of college. Then, they finally reach the national stage in a primetime game against the best team in the league. Not only do they show up to play, but they ball out, and that's when it comes — that coveted nickname that will stick with them for the rest of their career.

What exactly goes into a nickname? Sometimes, it's a spin on a player's real name like "Ice Trae" or "T-Mac." At other times, it reflects their style of play like "Magic" or "The Claw." For whatever reason a nickname gets crafted, it's always an honor that players embrace each night they step onto the court.

Are you prepared to see if you know these legends who earned nicknames as they established themselves as some of the biggest stars in the history of each franchise across the league? From players who shaped early dynasties to modern stars, this quiz covers them all. When you're ready, get started and see if you can match them to the correct team.

"The King," "Uncle Drew" and "K-Love" won the 2016 NBA title with which team?

Kevin Love is the final member of the "Big-3" who won a title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 that's left on the roster. Kyrie Irving was the first to depart when he requested a trade before the 2017-18 season, while LeBron James left in free agency the following year.


What team had some historically dominant big men like "Zo," "CB4" and "The Big Aristotle"?

Ever since Alonzo Mourning joined the Miami Heat in 1995, the team has consistently been in the NBA Playoffs. Though "Zo" never won a title with the Heat, both Shaquille O'Neal and Chris Bosh were able to deliver championships to Miami during their tenures there.


Do you know the super team that took the NBA by storm with stars like "The Baby-Faced Assassin," "Durantula" and "DrayMagic"?

The Golden State Warriors absolutely dominated when the "Splash Brothers," Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, came together. The two stars started shooting three-pointers at an unprecedented rate, setting numerous NBA records along the way.


"The Logo," "Rabbit" and "The Record Book" helped establish what team as one of the top franchises in the NBA?

When Elgin Baylor and Jerry West were on the team, the Los Angeles Lakers were almost guaranteed a spot in the NBA Finals each year, but they weren't able to get past the Boston Celtics during those early runs. West finally won a title after Baylor departed the team and Wilt Chamberlain joined him in Los Angeles.


Are you familiar with the team that put together a dominant roster in the '90s that included "The Dream," "Clyde the Glide" and "The Jet"?

Before they teamed up on the Houston Rockets, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler played college basketball together at Houston, where they were part of "Phi Slama Jama." This basketball fraternity took the NCAA by storm with their athleticism and play above the rim.


"Vinsanity" and "T-Mac" were offensive juggernauts while "The Claw" dominated on defense for which NBA team?

Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady certainly brought plenty of excitement to Toronto with their offensive skillsets, but neither player had much success in the playoffs. After trading for Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors finally won an NBA championship in 2019.


How well do you know the team that made an astounding playoff run in 2011 with stars like "The Kidd," "The German Race Car" and "The Matrix"?

Slim for a big man, no one knew exactly what kind of player Dirk Nowitzki would be when the Dallas Mavericks drafted him with the ninth pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. It only took him a few seasons to show that he could be a star as he revolutionized the role of a power forward with his ability to hit shots from the outside.


Can you place "The Iceman," "The Admiral" and "The Big Fundamental" on the team where they would have been one of the greatest front courts in NBA history if they had played together?

Between 1998 and 2019, the San Antonio Spurs did not miss the NBA Playoffs, as they proved doubters wrong season after season. The one constant on all those teams was head coach Gregg Popovich, who is regarded as the ultimate team leader.


During their first few years in the league, "The Brodie" set the pace that "Durantula" and "The Beard" had to follow as which team established itself as one of the best in the NBA?

The Oklahoma City Thunder had three soon-to-be MVPs on their roster, but even with all the talent, they weren't able to capture an NBA championship. Russell Westbrook was the last of the trio to remain on the Thunder before he was traded away before the 2019-20 season.


Select the team that "The Claw," "Sweet Lou" and "PG-13" immediately made a championship contender when they came together in 2019.

The Los Angeles Clippers have always been treated as the little brother to their cross-town rival, the Lakers. However, they finally brought some disparity to Los Angeles in 2019 by signing Kawhi Leonard, who was the Finals MVP from the previous season.


They're recognized as some of the greatest offensive talents in NBA history, but will you be able to identify the team that had legends like "High Gear Greer," "Dr. J" and "The Answer"?

In 1967, Hal Greer helped the 76ers win their first NBA title in Philadelphia, where the team has been located since 1963. Julius Irving added a second title for Philadelphia in 1983, when he was part of an All-Star caliber roster that included Moses Malone and Maurice Cheeks.


What team would have an all-world backcourt if "The Squid," "Big O" and "Ray-Ray" had played during the same era?

Even though the Milwaukee Bucks have had several legends pass through its halls like Oscar Robertson and Sidney Moncrief, the team's current superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, might end up being the greatest player to ever put on a Bucks uniform, as he already has an NBA MVP on his resume.


Do you know the team that won a title in '73 with "Mr. Memory," "Clyde" and "The Captain"?

The New York Knicks faced off against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1973 NBA Finals. The Lakers won Game 1, but then the Knicks bested the Lakers in the next four games to take home the second title in franchise history.


"Stock" dished out passes to "The Mailman" while "Scarecrow" posted up in the corner for threes on which NBA team in the '90s?

Playing for the Utah Jazz from 1984 through 2003, John Stockton led the league in assists for nine seasons, primarily delivering those passes to Karl Malone. By the time he retired, Stockton was the all-time leader in career assists.


Can you identify the team that nobody wanted to play when "His Airness," "Pip" and "The Worm" were on the court together?

The Chicago Bulls won six championships in the '90s with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on the court. They might have won two more if Jordan hadn't retired for a season and a half to try his hand at professional baseball.


Despite several name changes, which team had stars like "The Brow," "CP3" and "Boom Dizzle" on its roster at different points?

After Anthony Davis requested a trade in the middle of the 2018-19 season, the New Orleans Pelicans worried that their franchise would completely fall apart with the departure of a superstar like Davis. However, luck was on their side as the Pelicans ended up with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.


Where did these legends play during their primes: "Ajax," "Dr. J" and "The Kidd"?

The Nets were part of the American Basketball Association before it merged with the NBA in 1976. As a member of the ABA, the Nets won two championships, but they haven't been able to carry over that success into the NBA as of yet.


Are you familiar with the team that put "Big Red," "Dame Dolla" and "Clyde the Glide" on its roster for fans to enjoy over the years?

Founded in 1970, it only took the Portland Trail Blazers seven years to win an NBA title. They won the championship behind the stellar play of Bill Walton, who won the Finals MVP after averaging 18.5 points, 19 rebounds and 5.2 assists.


"Melo," "Mt. Mutombo" and "Joker" were all drafted by which NBA team?

Knowing they have a home-court advantage with the high altitude in Denver, the Nuggets built a roster that is two-deep at every position. The strategy allows them to compete against the conditioning of other teams, who struggle to keep their breath in the "Mile High City."


"Two Time" became an MVP when he joined "The Little Tyrant" and "The Matrix." What team did they star on?

When Mike D'Antoni became the head coach of the Phoenix Suns in 2003, he implemented a new playing style that pushed the pace of the game to incredible limits. His style became known as "Seven Seconds or Less" because he wanted the offense to get a shot off within seven seconds of a possession.


Select the team that dominated on defense in the late '80s with stars like "Zeke," "Joe D" and "Dennis the Menace."

In the late '80s, the Detroit Pistons put together a roster that became known as the "Bad Boys" due to their willingness to play nasty, physical basketball. Their rough style of play worked for them, as they won back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990.


Do you know the NBA team that had a defensive stud known as "The Thief," an all-world dunker called "The Human Highlight Reel" and a sharpshooter who went by "Pistol Pete"?

The Hawks franchise moved several times during their early years before finally settling in Atlanta in 1968. Previously, the Hawks were located in St. Louis and Milwaukee. The franchise was also in Buffalo for a season but went by the Bisons at the time.


Plenty of talented big men have come through the league, but which team did "The Big Ticket," "K-Love" and "KAT" play for?

Flip Saunders is the longest-tenured head coach in the history of the Minnesota Timberwolves. His first stint with the team lasted from 1995 through 2005, and he returned to Minnesota for the 2014-15 season before Hodgkin's lymphoma took his life.


"C-Webb," "Peja" and "Bib" were fun to watch in the early 2000s. Will you be able to match them to the team they led to the playoffs?

The Sacramento Kings entered the 2002 NBA Playoffs with the No. 1 seed, losing only two games on their way to the Western Conference Finals. After some controversial calls made by the referees, the Kings lost in the Conference Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.


How well do you know the team that had some great defenders in its history with players like "Money Mike," "Big Spain" and "The Grindfather"?

The Grizzlies franchise started in 1995 in Vancouver, but they never won more than 23 games during their stint in Canada. The Grizzlies moved home base to Memphis in 2001 and finally made the playoffs during the 2003-04 season.


Can you identify the NBA team that "Googs," "Baby Huey" and "The Boy Wonder" suited up for?

The Washington Wizards, known as the Bullets at the time, had most of its success in the 1970s when the team won four conference titles. The Wizards were able to capitalize on those championship opportunities in 1978 by defeating the Seattle SuperSonics for the only NBA championship in franchise history.


"The Knick Killer" spent time with "The Kid" and "The Dunking Dutchman" when he led which NBA team?

Reggie Miller is undoubtedly the biggest star in the history of the Indiana Pacers. He had several legendary moments in a Pacers uniform, including an incredible performance at the end of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 1995, where he scored eight points in nine seconds to defeat the New York Knicks.


Are you familiar with the team that had stars like "Penny," "G-Money" and "The Daily Double" pass through its locker room since the franchise was established in 1989?

The Orlando Magic had only been established a few seasons when they received the No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. They used that pick to select Shaquille O'Neal, who went on to become one of the best players in league history.


"Big L," "Cardiac" and "KG" all started their NBA careers with what team?

Former NBA legend Michael Jordan became the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets in 2010 after purchasing the franchise from Bob Johnson. However, since Jordan purchased the team, the Hornets have not made it out of the first round of the playoffs.


Identify the NBA team that utilized two foreign stars in "The Fiery Francophile" and "Gino" to pair with "The Claw" after the the departure of a former legend.

The San Antonio Spurs have won five NBA championships with their first title coming in 1999. The Spurs most recent title was won in 2014 when they defeated the Miami Heat, who had superstars of their own like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.


The NBA was exciting to watch in the '80s with stars like "Magic," "Cap" and "Big Game James." Where did they team up together to put on a show each night?

With Earvin "Magic" Johnson running the show, the "Showtime" Lakers were one of the most dominant teams in the '80s, winning five NBA championships during the decade. Johnson won three Finals MVPs during that run, establishing himself as one of the biggest stars in NBA history.


Can you identify the team that established a dynasty in the '60s and '70s with players like "The Secretary of Defense," "The Houdini of the Hardwood" and "Hondo"?

With 11 NBA titles, Bill Russell has more championship rings than he has fingers to put them on. He won every one of those championships with the Boston Celtics, who currently have the most titles in the NBA.


What team played a tough brand of basketball with "The Truth," "The Big Ticket" and "Sugar Ray" on the court together?

After winning 16 championships by 1986, the Boston Celtics went over 20 years without another NBA title. That changed in 2008 when the Celtics faced off against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. After a six-game series, the Celtics walked away with the 17th title in franchise history.


Do you know the NBA team that had three elite small forwards in "The Miami Greyhound," "Mully" and "Pitchin' Paul"?

The history of the Warriors can be traced back to 1946 when they were a charter member of the Basketball Association of America, a precursor to the NBA. In the team's inaugural season, they won the BAA championship by defeating the Chicago Stags.


"The Black Mamba" played beside two elite big men in "Diesel" and "Kung Pow" as he won five NBA titles with which team?

The late Kobe Bryant was arguably the greatest player to ever compete in a Lakers uniform, but his division with Shaquille O'Neal almost jeopardized his status as a legend in Los Angeles. After O'Neal was forced out of town, Bryant struggled to win another title until he was paired with Pau Gasol, who he won two more titles with.


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