It got to the point last season when the Miami Heat's regular jersey seemed like the oddity.
That traditional top—white with red numbering and black trim—was often stashed away in favor of several other versions, including "White Hot" (all white other than black trim), "Deep Red" (an homage to the late 1990s teams with a "flaming T"), Noche Latina (with "El Heat" on the front), "Miami Black" (worn on the road with "Miami" replacing "Heat"), "BIG Color" (all red with white trim for Christmas) and even a special one-time jersey for the banner ceremony, with gold trim and the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
This offseason, according to team sources, the organization has discussed an even more dramatic departure from the norm: nicknames.
They would replace last names above players' numbers on the upper back of one of their alternate jersey styles.
The Heat officially declined to comment on any jersey discussions or plans. Any changes or additions must receive NBA approval.
Still, it's not a surprise Miami would try this. After all, it is consistent with what the Harlem Globetrotters have historically done, and no other current NBA team more resembles them in terms of consistently putting on a spectacular show.
So what would be the most likely nicknames?
Well, a few are obvious.
King James. You know who would wear it.
Birdman for Chris Andersen.
JJ for James Jones.
CB for Chris Bosh.
Rio for Mario Chalmers.
UD for Udonis Haslem—unless he chose "Mr. 305," which doesn't fit so well now that he resides in the 954 area code.
Cole Train for Norris Cole.
Batman for Shane Battier, silly as that sounds for someone of his intellect.
The choices get a little more complicated for Joel Anthony, Ray Allen and Dwyane Wade.
Fans have called Anthony "The Warden" for his shot-blocking prowess, but he prefers "Doc" for reasons not entirely understood.
Allen has often assumed the identity of the character he played in He Got Game, but "Jesus" might be a bit presumptuous. So maybe just "Shuttlesworth"?
The Heat guard has had numerous nicknames, publicly discarding "Flash" three years ago, and recently anointing himself "W.O.W" (for Way of Wade) and "3" (for his number of championships).
Better yet, "D-Wade" will do.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!