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Ranking the Ten Best Names in the 2023 NBA Draft
By: Khaqan Khan
It's that time of the year again. The NBA Draft, where everyone becomes an expert on dudes they just heard of. Like those people watching this draft, this list is also built on preconceived notions and biases that teeter along the lines of racial prejudice. What qualifies me to pass to 'analyze' names? My name. Here is my take on the names of the NBA DRAFT 2023.
For Reference: Last Year's List.
1. Gradey Dick
Was there any doubt this would be my number 1? I don't even have to spell it out. It's like a frat guy lost a bet. It's almost a foregone conclusion he will either be drafted by the Utah Jazz or the Boston Celtics. Also, the perfect candidate for the barely-relevant-but-he's-white guest slot on JJ Reddick's Old Man and the Three podcast. Don't be surprised if all the white media pundits talk about how much they like Gradey for 'some reason'. But it's all love, this is like one of those throwback sports names like Dick ButtKiss.
2. Kobe Bufkin
Built in points for being named Kobe, but Bufkin? Dude, nice. Say it out loud with me, BUFF-KIN. It's like a reality show about a body-building family.
3. Olivier-Maxence Prosper
Oh, Chante! I definitely have a bias for hyphenated names. Dudes with hyphenated names are just way more likely to be cooler. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (underrated cool: played with an ankle monitor), and Dorian Finny-Smith. Where the -'s go wrong is Karl Anthony Towns…Anyways. Olivier is a dope name, but you pair that with Maxence? Who's ever heard of Maxence? Already this sounds like a DnD Character. Then the cherry on top is Prosper. So beautiful, dawg. For any soccer fans, this is the basketball equivalent of Allan-Saint Maximin, who's also pretty cool.
4. Jalen Hood-Schifino
Giving me American Gangster Vibes. Hood-Schifino sounds like a nickname a racist Italian mobster would give to the one black guy on the team. Here comes the Hood-Schifino. Like a mobster, the calmest guy in the room is usually the most dangerous, and Jalen has that in him. He has a mature and composed game which I think might make him a bunch of money in this league. Once he does, watch out, there's a new boss in town.
5. Bilal Coulibaly
This name I have high up because it's so pleasant off the tongue. If you say his name five times, it could almost be like a breathing exercise to calm you down. Why does it always seem like dudes with this type of name always come into the NBA raw? He's definitely an exciting prospect. 19 years old, 6'7 with a 7'2 wingspan. OKC and Toronto will have to fight it out to draft .
6. Jett Howard
Another classic sports name. Jet is one of my favorite nicknames in sports. Jet has always been the cooler version of a Plane. Plane is plain. Jet is Top Gun. Jet is Jetfire. Jet is cool. Jett Howard plays like a Jet on a nice casual flight to take in the scenery.
7. Sidy Cissoko
At first, I thought this was another wunderkind that Real Madrid poached, but I was wrong; Sidy is a dog, dawg. Saying his name out loud, you almost have to snap like he's this underdog jazz player. Like Jazz, Cissoko's defense is all in your face, and you don't really know what to do with it. His defense at the wing position will have opposing players looking to improvise.
8. Dariq Whitehead
Right off the bat, the audacity of DARIQ. Usually, it's Tariq with a T, but I like this variation. Although I'm not sure if it's Dar-reeq or Dar-ick, either way, something about Dariq sounds awesome. Also, Whitehead is always a funny giggle.
9. Colin Castleton
Castleton for 3 from Downton! Can't remember this British of a name in the NBA. I'm not even sure if the dude is from across the pond, but, man, I can see this guy being a 'fan-favorite' (whatever that means).
10. Andrew Funk
Funk yeah. If this dude grows a mustache, I'm buying a jersey.
On the bubble:
Oh c'mon. The Irony. This sounds like a bad Family Guy Joke. Spiritual name-brother of Christian Wood. I beg of you, do not start calling him Mo'.
Names that could also be in the NFL Draft.
Terquavion Smith - QB converted into Wide Receiver. Highly recruited out of highschool. The College Coach was like, 'Just put the ball in his hands.' But you know how it goes in the NFL. 'Athletic' quarterback? Convert him to Receiver.
Ricky Council IV - Hall of Fame Cornerback. Fell in the draft because of his height, but what he lacks in height, he makes up for with tenacity.
Brandon Miller - Wide Receiver. Late 1st. Tall, but mostly rated this highly because he was on a good team with a good QB in the Big Ten.
Scoot Henderson - Heisman Running back. Funny enough Scoot is built like one too.
Taylor Hendricks - Tight End. Projected 2nd-3rd. Good size, good not great hands.
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