Just like they once did on the playgrounds of famed streetball courts, the best players are rewarded with stylish nicknames reflecting their game or their personality. This regular column takes a look at some of the best monikers in the League and how they were earned.
Nickname: ‘Scary Terry’
Player: Terry Rozier (Point guard, Los Angeles Clippers)
The Story: The breakout player of the 2018 NBA Playoffs earned the breakout nickname as well by putting the young Celtics on the map. Terry Rozier was far from a household name at the start of the season, despite his talent. The Louisville product thrived off his smooth pull-up jumper and defensive anticipation to earn a name for himself in college, but found himself in a serious backcourt jam when he was selected by the Boston Celtics with the 15th pick of 2015 NBA Draft.
His rookie season involved plenty of time in the G League as he struggled to find playing time backing up Isaiah Thomas. Thomas’ departure brought All-Star Kyrie Irving while fellow youngsters Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown put in their case for starting minutes as well. With the arrival of the post-season however, Rozier has thrived as an unexpected primary scoring option for his team.
With his energetic personality and electrifying on-court play, NBA fans have taken to Rozier in a hurry. Good nicknames often take a while to come by, but the 6-foot-2 guard has earned his in just weeks as he played a key role in the Celtics’ surprising post-season run. His aggression and quickness on defense has given opposing point guards nightmares, while he has also scored at an elite level, striking fear in the hearts of the competition.
His new moniker reflects this, and was taken from a cartoon antagonist known to be a bloodthirsty monster. Being a horror movie buff, Rozier approves of the nickname and has started a widely-popular line of associated shirts. As he continues his meteoric ascent through the NBA ranks, it will not be long before ‘Scary Terry’ is instantly recognizable across the globe.