Chicago Bulls: The Aliases


Last week, a confused commenter asked why I kept referring to Ben Gordon as “Air Gordon.” That nickname has been used pretty frequently here in Chicago over the past few years — particularly in the press — and I took for granted that everybody was familiar with it. To make up for that mistake, I decided to make a master list of nicknames for the current squad. I spent literally minutes searching the deepest, darkest corners of the Internet for these. (Remember: Tips aren’t required, but they are appreciated.) If I missed any, let me know and I’ll update the list.

Note: I’m not sure if all these guys will be around for the 2009-10 season…but I’m hedging my bets.

Aaron Gray: The White Panther (coined by Boers and Bernstein), The White Flag (coined by Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub)

Ben Gordon: Air Gordon, BG, BG7, Gentle Ben, Little Ben, Madison Square Gordon, 007 (The Assassin)

Brad Miller: Bad News Brad, Cornrows (for this unfortunate decision), BM (coined by By The Horns reader Brad)

Derrick Rose: D-Rose, The Great Poodini (for his wizard tattoo), Pooh (coined by his grandma), Southside Sorcerer (from By the Horns reader Bh), Windy City Warlock (also from Bh)

Joakim Noah: Dr. No, Jo, Jo-No, Noah Kim-Joa (from By the Horns reader Blake), The Joker (from AK Dave), The Noble One

John Salmons: Buck, Get Right, The Fish Man, Up Stream (from By the Horns reader Jon)

Kirk Hinrich: Captain Kirk, The Hinrich Maneuver

Luol Deng: Damaged Goods, Deng-Dong (from By the Horns reader Blake), Luol, Sweet Lu, The Man from Sudan

Tim Thomas: Dog, T-Tom, The Biggest Waste of Talent in NBA History

Tyrus Thomas: Big T’s (pronounced “Big Tease”), Free Money (after admitting he was only entering the 2006-07 Slam Dunk Contest for money), The Mercenary (ditto), T-Time, TT, Ty, Ty-Rise (from By the Horns reader Bh)

23 Responses to Chicago Bulls: The Aliases

    Blake May 13, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    I like the article and most of the nicknames. However, I do believe the best nickname for Joakim is “Noah Kim-Joa.” My friends and I have been calling him that for years – we gotta start this movement. How great of a chant would that be?

    Also, I believe Luol should be referred to as Deng-Dong and Aaron Grey should be called Big Sexy (that one coined by the great Stacy King.. or maybe Kendall Gill).

    cilantromOnkay May 13, 2009 at 5:46 pm #

    the hinrich maneuver! bbbbwwwwahahahaha

    Jon May 13, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    John Salmons: Up Stream

    AK Dave May 13, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    For Joakim:

    How about “The Joker”?


    Bh May 13, 2009 at 5:59 pm #

    I’m pretty sure I’ve read Ty-Rise somewhere for Tyrus…and in keeping with the tatoo theme for Rose how bout the Windy City Warlock or Southside Sorcerer?

    Josh May 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    I’ve always called Ben Gordon “Bling Bling,” named after the song sung by BG (which happen to be Ben Gordon’s initials). Watching his high arching jumpers go through the net always makes me say Bling Bling.

    I hope he gets his bling with a new contract this summer.

    Matt McHale May 13, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    Thanks guys. The list has been updated (with credits in parentheses). Keep ’em coming!

    Czernobog May 13, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    How about “Audi” for Tyrus?

    dave May 13, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    “Soul Eater” was popular for Tyrus at the beginning of the year. The guys doing play-by-play at the Orlando camp couldn’t get enough of it.
    I’ve heard Aaron Grey referred to as “Sasquatch”. Also, I prefer simply “Fish” for Salmons.

    Stormin Norman Disciple May 13, 2009 at 7:29 pm #

    I always liked the nickname “Skyrus” for Tyrus. Love the list.

    AK Dave May 13, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    Another Joakim Noah one:

    “The Noah Constrictor”


    bingo May 13, 2009 at 9:00 pm #

    I have to submit a couple others:

    Tyrus Thomas is now, and forever shall be, known only as Pogo. In the words of Simmons, it’s a mortal lock.

    This next one is more at the grass roots phase, but due to his Tut-like beard, I have been calling John Salmons The Pharoah.

    Beat that, yall!

    Blake May 13, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

    I must say that calling Aaron Gray “the White Flag” is pretty hilarious. He only enters the game when one of the teams has surrendered…

    Ryne Nelson May 14, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    Love the resource, Matt. Although, I’d say the simple ‘T2’ is something many fans (including myself) call Tyrus.

    HINrichPolice May 15, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    Hey Matt, did you delete my comment?

    Matt McHale May 15, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    HINrichPolice — No, I didn’t, or certainly not on purpose. I’ve been having some major problems with SPAM comments…so there is a chance it might have gotten filtered out or deleted by mistake. And if so, I’m really sorry. Could you resend?

    Prashant May 15, 2009 at 2:31 pm #

    How is a nickname for Luol Deng just ‘Luol’? Are we supposed to refer to him as Luol “Luol” Deng? That’s gotta be a mistake, right?

    RonCrimson May 15, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    Aaron Gray will always be known as Vanilla Thunder.

    rocky May 15, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    How about deng-gone as in the bulls should trade his behind if he doesn’t step up his game.

    Juan May 19, 2009 at 11:27 pm #

    Derrick Rose: THE THORN

    Tyrus Thomas: T2 (The Terminator)

  21. JYW June 6, 2009 at 8:34 pm #

    Tyrus = Typhoid or Typhus

    My nickname for Aaron Gray has always been “ass” (i.e., “that guy plays like ass”).

  22. Jaylon July 11, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    Derrick Rose=”the black panther http://

    Judson July 14, 2009 at 12:34 am #

    Ben -> “Ben Jordan” – a little play on words.

    Kirk – “The Hamburglar”

    Brad Miller -> “YMCA”

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