Los Angeles Lakers

As the Lakers introduce '360', look back at the best NBA team nicknames

NBA nicknames (Lakers, Pistons, Warriors)
(NBA Getty Images)

As the Los Angeles Lakers assembled for Media Day, we got our first look at several of their new faces in purple and gold uniforms and it didn't take long for their new Big 3 to coin their nickname for the season.

With Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis lining up for their photos, LeBron organised the trio by their jersey numbers, giving the trio the nickname '360' - a nod to their jersey numbers for 2021-22.

Sure, giving yourself a nickname goes against the ethos of a nickname itself, but I can already hear announcers screaming '360' when the Big 3 combine for a highlight-reel play, so it's here to stay for now.

A nickname for a set of players or a squad normally comes with success and style - something the Lakers should have plenty of both of this season, but will it go down as one of the best monikers?

Let's rewind to some of the best team nicknames over the years, with the Lakers Big 3 hoping to join the list.

The Heatles

Another LeBron-led squad, during their first season together in Miami, he joked with reporters that the team were calling themselves 'The Heatles' due to the fact their were selling out every arena on the road, much like The Beatles.

As the biggest show in town, he had a point, the Miami Heat were the talk of the league as LeBron joined forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on South Beach. While they didn't win the title that year, they went on to make four straight tripes to the Finals, win two championships and dominate the headlines seemingly every day during their tenure together.

It started off cheesy, but ended up being pretty accurate.

Showtime Lakers

I don't there's possibly been a better nickname than the Showtime Lakers.

They emnbodied it in every sense. Despite being in Hollywood, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and co. led by Pat Riley, the Lakers were the biggest show in town.....and boy did they put on show with their entertaining, fastbreak style of play, winning five championships along the way.

Bad Boy Pistons

The '80s Detroit Pistons relished their role as the villains of the NBA, inserting themselves inbetween the end of the Celtics/Lakers dominance and ahead of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls' era with their unrivalled physicality and '94 feet defence'.

Led by Isiah Thomas, the Pistons team which included Jo Dumars, Dennis Rodman and Bill Lambier took over the league, irking nearly every team that came their way, between the hard fouls and trash talk, winning two championships in the first two seasons they were known as the 'Bad Boys'.

Grit & Grind Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies didn't win any hardware together in the 2010s with their best season a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2013, but the Mike oOnley Jr, Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol Grizzlies became fan favourites for their hard hat style of play.

As teams began to shift to laiunching more 3-pointers, the Grizzlies stuck to their philosophy of battling in the paint, suffocating teams with their defence and bringing the intensity every night.

For a fanchise that hasn't had a ton of success, this was the teams best era of basketball and their legend lives on in Memphis with Allen and Randolph set to have their jerseys retired this season.

Run TMC

Arguably one of the coldest NBA nicnkames in history, that spawned from The San Francisco Examiner's newspaper contest to name the trio of Chris Mullin, Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond.

The trio only played two seasons together and remain one of the biggest 'what if's' after Richmond was traded, breaking up the fast-paced, high-scoring Big 3, who were good for 20+ points a piece, getting up and down the floor in a blur.

Lob City

Lob City by name, Lob City by nature.

The Clippers squad of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford and co. were a nightly highlight-reel machine with Griffin and Jordan two of the best alley-oop finishers partnered with Paul and Craword's showmanship.

Sure, they never lived up to their potential in terms of winning a ring, but there's not denying every single game there was at least one play that left you jumping out of your seat.

Which squad owns the best nickname in NBA history?

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