Chinese Nicknames for NBA Players

German Racecar is hot, and he's working hard to get his team to the playoffs. Meanwhile Little Emperor lords over the East and his team just clinched a postseason spot.

Hold on, hold on, what are you talking about? Who is German Racecar? Little Emperor? Well, let us explain: those are NBA players' nicknames in China.

"German Racecar" is Dirk Nowitzki, his ability to roll on court like a racecar, and he is, of course, from Germany. Meanwhile, China's Little Emperor is our "King James." For instance, do you want to know why Tim Duncan is called Stone Buddha? Scroll down. And while you're there check out the 10 Chinese nicknames we picked for you to vote on in our poll.

NBA.com has posted a sampling of some of the best nicknames fans in China have given their favorite NBA players and the reasons behind it.


Player Chinese Nickname Translation of Chinese Nickname Explanation
Ben Wallace 大本钟 (Da Ben Zhong) Big Ben

Wallace’s size and ability to defend

Zydrunas Ilgauskas 大 Z ( Da Z ) Big Z

Da means “big” and Z is the first letter of his first name

LeBron James 小皇帝 (Xiao Huang Di) Little Emperor

Direct translation of English nickname "King James"

Emeka Okafor 猫王 (Mao Wang) King of the Cats

Meaning leader of the Bobcats

Dirk Nowitzki 德国战车 (De Guo Zhan Che) German Racecar

Dirk’s ability to roll on court like a racecar. And he is a player from Germany.

Carmelo Anthony 甜瓜 (Tian Gua) Sweet Melon

The nickname “Melo” resembles “Melon”. “Sweet Melon” refers to Carmelo ‘s sweet and cute appearance

Allen Iverson 答案 ( Da An ) The Answer

Direct translation of his English nickname

Chauncy Billups 光滑 (Guang Hua) Smooth

Direct translation of English nickname “Smooth”

Richard Hamilton 面具人 (Mian Ju Ren) Man in the Mask Hamilton's habit of wearing a mask on court
Tayshaun Prince 小王子 ( Xiao Wang Zi ) Little Prince

Direct translation of his last name “ Prince ”

Dikembe Mutombo 非洲大山 (Fei Zhou Da Shan) Africa’s Big Mountain

Mutombo’s ability to block shots. And he is a player from Africa

Elton Brand 船长 (Chuan Zhang) The Captain

He’s seen as the leader of the Clippers

Cuttino Mobley 老猫 (Lao Mao) Old Cat

Direct translation from English nickname “ The Cat”

Kobe Bryant 小飞侠 (Xiao Fei Xia) Little Flying warrior

Bryant’s ability to jump

Damon Stoudemire 小飞鼠 (Xiao Fei Shu) Little Flying Mouse

For his speed and the ability to pass through opposing players

Shaquille O'Neal 俠客 (Xia Ke) Warrior "Xia Ke" means righteous and respectful warriors in ancient China
Gary Payton 手套 (Shou Tao) The Glove

Dir Payton’s ability to defend, like a glove stuck on the opponent

Dwyane Wade 闪电侠 (Shan Dian Xia) The Flash

For his lighting fast style of playing

Jason Williams 白巧克力 (Bai Qiao Ke Li) White Chocolate

Direct translation of his English nickname

Kevin Garnett 狼王 (Lang Wang) King of the Wolves Meaning leader of the Timberwolves
Vince Carter 飞人 (Fei Ren) Flying Man Carter's ability to leap and make amazing dunks

Jason Kidd

发动机 (Fa Dong Ji)

The Engine

Kidd is the “engine” behind the Nets’ offense
Steve Francis 特权 (Te Quan) Special Rights Direct translation of the word “ Franchise”
Grant Hill 好好先生 (Houhou Xian Shen) Mr. Nice Direct translation of English nickname
Andre Iguodala 小AI (Xiao AI) Little AI “Little” is placed before the initial to differentiate between Allen Iverson and Andre Iguodala. “Little” also refers to his short years in the league compared to Allen Iverson.

Boris Diaw

法国魔术师 (Fa Guo Mo Shu Shi)

French Magician

Diaw’s ability to play basketball as if playing magic. And he is a player from France.

Amare Stoudemire

小霸王 (Xiao Ba Wang)

Little Lord

Amare is young and dominates in the paint
Tim Duncan 石佛(Shi Fo ) Stone Buddha Duncan is very strong and calm just like the Buddha.
Emanuel Ginobili 阿根廷飞人 (A Gan Ting Fei Ren) Argentina's Flying Man Ginobili's ability to jump. And he is a player from Argentina

Robert Horry

关键先生 (Guan Jian Xian Shen)

The Key Man

Horry’s ability to make clutch shots

Ray Allen

绅士 (Shen Shi)

Gentleman

Allen’s gentlemanly manner on court

Chris Bosh

龙王 (Long Wang)

King of the Dragons

He’s seen as the leader of the Raptors
Derek Fisher 小鱼 (Xiao Yu) Little fish Loose translation of his last name “Fisher”
Gilbert Arenas 大将军 (Da Jiang Jun) General Arenas is peerless and commanding in the league.