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Jun 27, 2013
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The NBA is no stranger to names that are a mouthful to pronounce.

This is the price the NBA had to pay when the entire world started playing in the U.S.-based league. The Nowitzkis, Dragics, Divacs, Giriceks, Pachulias, Turkoglus, the Stojakovic-es, and Nesterovic-es invaded in ways that made life hard for sports commentators. Which letter is silent? Is it Nowitzki? Novitzki? Nowitski? Is it a hard ‘G’ or a soft ‘G?’ Is it Kukoh, Ku-coach or as Andy Jao said it, “Kukok?”

Likewise, with a huge chunk of the yearly talent pool being filled by Afro-American players, there has been no shortage of unique, inventive gangsta names like Stromile, LaPhonso, Mugsy, Kelenna, Antawn, Mareese, Desagana, and while we’re at it, LeBron. Say it again, this time with a whole lot of feelings: LEEE-BRON. What a cool, weird name.

With the 2013 NBA Draft happening on Friday, new talents are about to arrive. And with the arrival of young blood, come a boatload of new names that we’ll have fun pronouncing in the next few months.

From the 2013 NBA Draft, here are the coolest/weirdest/gangsta-est names we were able to find:

1) Shabazz Muhammad – SG - 6’6”- UCLA - 20 years old
Shuh-bazz Moo-ha-med

Quite possibly: A player whose exploits will inevitably be described with “Alakazam,” “Shazam,” and other sham words typically used when performing magic at a kid’s party.

In reality: A mid-round prospect who has been compared to Nick Young because of his fierce competitiveness, outside shooting, and the ability to use his body to get to where he wants to be.

See him in action:

2) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – SG – 6’6” – Greenville – 20 years old
Kent-ey-veeyoos Kald-well-powp

Quite possibly: A caped superhero who hides behind a name carefully designed to sound completely harmless.

In reality: A classic shooting guard with the length of a Kerry Kittles and amazing accuracy from The Land of Ray Allen. The trey is his layup, observers noted. Currently a lottery prospect.

See him in action:

3) Giannis Adetokoubo – SF – 6’9” – Greece – 18 years old
Jee-yan-is A-de-tu-ko-bow

Quite possibly: The most dangerous challenger to Luc Richard Mbah-a-Moute’s name as the most exotic-fabulous in the league.

In reality: A top 10 prospect with gobs of potential, an incredible wingspan and huge hands. For a guy this tall, he has been noted for his amazing mobility and body control. Very intriguing.

4) Trevor Mbakwe - C – 6’8” – Minnesota – 24 years old
Tre-vor Em-bak-weh

Quite possibly: Another potential target for Filipinos who love mangling names when talking trash. From a phonetical standpoint, there are a few stinky ones we can come up with for the name “Mbakwe.”

In reality: A powerful rebounder, who in spite of his undersized nature, has the ability to impact both ends of the court. His lack of upside is what brought him to the second round.


5) Gorgui Dieng – C – 6’11” Senegal – 23 years old
Gor-ju Dee-eng

Quite possibly: Luol Deng’s long lost brother?

In reality: A late round prospect who will be an interesting investment for teams looking for a long, mobile rim protector. A big guy willing to plug the middle.

NEXT: More wacky names!