If anyone doubted that the NBA is the most stylistically innovative league, those doubts can be put to rest with a new story out of Miami.

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press is reporting that the league is considering allowing players from two of its marquee franchises, the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets, to wear nicknames on the back of their jerseys during one or perhaps two of their matchups this year. That means LeBron James could have "King James" on the back of his jersey, Kevin Garnett's jersey could say "KG" and Paul Pierce's uniform might read "The Truth."

"Fans will like it and so will a lot of the players," Miami's veteran guard Ray Allen told Reynolds. "Guys will get a good kick out of it."

Allen, who teamed with Garnett and Pierce to win an NBA title in Boston, would wear "Shuttlesworth" on his jersey, a tribute to his character from the movie He Got Game.

"It shows growth in our league and it shows we do adapt to what's going on around us," Allen told Reynolds. "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."

Reynolds writes that the NBA would allow the "nickname jerseys" for at least one and possibly two of the teams' four total matchups this season.


This is a good move for the NBA, which introduced short-sleeve jerseys last year and has allowed teams to wear special Spanish jerseys on certain occasions. Not only could this provide a marketing and sales boon, but it shows that the league is receptive to its players and fans.

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