Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chinese nicknames of NBA players

I have already talked about how much the Chinese people love basketball. Yao Ming has to be the most popular NBA player in China, but that doesn’t mean that other NBA players are not popular there. In 2009/10 season, Kobe Bryant had the most popular jersey in China. Here are the top five:

Kobe Bryant - Lakers

LeBron James – Cavaliers (then)/Heat (now)

Dwight Howard - Magic

Kevin Garnett - Celtics

Derrick Rose - Bulls

You must have already gotten yourself a Chinese name by now. Just so that these NBA players do not fall behind, Chinese people have given nicknames to their favorite NBA players. Here are few of them:

Kobe Bryant: 小飞 (Xiǎo fēi xiá): Little Flying Warrior

LeBron James: 小皇 (Xiǎo huángdì): Little Emperor

Dirk Nowitzki: 德国战 (Déguó zhàn chē): German Racecar

Carmelo Anthony: (Tiánguā): Sweet Melon

Richard Hamilton: 面具 (Miànjù rén): Man in the Mask

Shaquille O’Neal: (Xiákè): Warrior

Dwyane Wade: 闪电 (Shǎndiàn xiá): The Flash

Tim Duncan: (Shí fú): Stone Buddha

Check the NBA website for the Chinese nicknames of more NBA players.


  1. This is really interesting. How widespread are these, will most people know them? What if you just translated their English name into Chinese, do they use that as well?

  2. Not sure how widespread they are. I have watched NBA with some Chinese people in China and never heard anyone use these nicknames. Maybe they just didn't use it because I was around?

  3. I'm so going to use one of these next time somebody asks my Chinese name... AWESOME!
    我: 我是小皇帝!
    老百姓: 哇!

  4. haha let me know how that goes...but these names are interesting, aren't they?

  5. O'Neal's nickname is 大鲨鱼Big Shark

  6. Thank you for adding one more to the list