Yashinsky: Time to Give Piston Andre Drummond a Nickname

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Andre Drummond (AP photo)

Andre Drummond had a breakout game Sunday.

He attacked the final stat sheet from every direction -- 31 points, 19 boards, 6 steals.  He even cashed in seven times from the foul line (pay no mind that they came in 18 attempts).   

The second-year center is becoming a feared inside presence in the league.  There’s just one thing missing -- a nickname.

Thankfully,  Drummond has not succumbed to the recent, creativity-sapping tradition of combining initials and numbers to come up with a moniker.  CP3, RG3, T-Mac, D-Wade, and the short-lived BK7 (Brandon Knight) that brought the whole nickname game to an ultimate low.  Drummond has managed to slip through the cracks.

He’s not A-Drum, or A.D.-Zero, or ‘Dre-Zero.  He’s still just Andre Drummond.  But it’s time to change.

Needs a Unique Tag

If these new Detroit Pistons are going to turn the franchise around once and for all, it’s got to begin and end with Drummond.  And no NBA big man is worth his salt until he acquires his own unique tag.

There was Wilt the Stilt (Chamberlain), The Chief (Robert Parish), The Dobber (Bob Lanier), The Dream (Hakeem Olajuwon), The Admiral (David Robinson), and The Diesel (Shaq).  Even 7-foot washouts like Stanley Roberts got a nickname (Big Garbage), despite it being more insulting than flattering. 

So where to go with the naming of Drummond? 

Deadline Detroit reader SL Smooth suggests something simple yet menacing -- “Andre the Giant.”  It works on multiple levels.  It plays to his immense size (6’11”, 280), while offering a respectful nod to a wrestling legend. 

Remember, nicknames don’t necessarily have to be completely first-time inventions.  Pudge Rodriguez took over for Pudge Fisk.  Antoine Carr and Glenn Robinson shared “Big Dog” ownership for the better part of the 1990s.  John Salley was “Spider” for the Bad Boys, but don’t forget Jerry Sloan was the original.  Drummond could seamlessly become Andre the Giant and the nickname gods would not protest.

There are also possibilities within his last name.  “Drum Roll” would be a nice fit, comparing the tireless work ethic of Drummond with the consistent pressure put on the snare during said event.  “Drum Squad” or “Drum Line” brings to mind a group of percussionists all smashing on their instruments to produce one collective boom.  Giving Drummond such a title would suggest he could make that reverberation happen all by himself. 

Or the alias could be totally independent of his proper name.  Something imposing like “The Nightmare” would send a nightly message to the opposition that they were in for a brutal 48 minutes of basketball. 

The Goose? 

“The Goose” is a dark-horse candidate that makes a lot of sense.  Geese can be quite unfriendly if you enter their terrain, which is the type of message an NBA pivot man wants to send.  Plus, with Drummond as Goose and Greg Monroe as Moose, the combover on George Blaha’s dome would start dancing a jig, unable to contain the mass excitement for potential wordplay and riddles. 

The possibilities for Drummond’s new name are endless.  But time is also of the essence.  In today’s split-second world, it is only a matter of time before the dreaded “Initials-#” combo nickname is branded to an athlete.  Action must be taken now.

Andre Drummond will hopefully be dominating the interior for the Pistons in the years to come; swatting away shots, shattering the backboard with dunks, shattering the backboard with free throws.  We could be looking at a historic career in the Motor City.

But Hall of Fame speeches aren’t given by ordinary men.  They are given by men with nicknames.          

It’s time to fill in the blank. 

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