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For the last week SportsCenter’s anchors have been hard at work attempting to come up with a new nickname for Shaquille O’neal. Suggestions have been all over the place, but the network seems to have settled on pushing The Big Sidekick.

I applaud their determination. And they were on the right track with The Big Sidekick. It just is not catchy enough.

A Cavs blogger came up with a list of 20 possible nicknames, most heavily reliant on Shaq’s location in Cleveland. Though again a valiant effort, Cleveland really is not a very interesting city. I agree that it could be incorporated somehow, but it cannot be the name’s main focus.

So, the new nickname must be both catchy and relevant. I was able to narrow it down to two possibilities: CaddyShaq and The Court Jester.

CaddyShaq was the winner. It is a term already in everybody’s vocabulary thanks to the hilarious movie starring Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield and also emphasizes O’neal’s secondary role to Lebron James on the team.

As the King’s “caddy” he lightens the work-load by carrying James’ metaphorical clubs. If Shaq chips in 15-20 points and 7-10 rebounds per game his production will dwarf that of Anderson Varejao and Zydrunas Ilgauskas this year and lightens the amount of pressure on James to do everything.

And though it fails to directly incorporate the city of Cleveland in any possible way (the movie was filmed in Florida, it supposedly takes place in Nebraska, its lead actors are from New York and its writers are from Chicago), there is an indirect connection. Actress Cindy Morgan, who played Lacey Underall, did the weather for a Milwaukee television station before becoming an actress. She was fired for incompetence, and one of her most common errors was mixing up Iowa and Ohio. There you go.

“The Court Jester” did come relatively close. It provides a clever play on James’ nickname and again involves O’neal in the assistant position. It also acknowledges his ability to make the masses laugh. However, it was not as catchy as CaddyShaq, which left it at a second place finish.

The Big Witness came in a distant third.

This all being considered, I would not be surprised if no new nicknames catch on. Shaq has created a laundry list of nicknames for himself already. He has taken most of the good ones.

I leave with a Shaq-a-log

“All this heaviness does not mean that I’m a monk.  I’m an unorthodox type of guy, a funny guy—at least I think I’m funny.  And one of the things I like to do is come up with nicknames for myself. Some of my personal favorites: The Big Stock Exchange.  I start off at one price.  Every now and then I’ll go down, but eventually I’ll go back up. The Big IPO.  Put your money on me.  Because when I go public, we all gonna make money… And they call me the Big Sewer because I have a lot of shit in my game.”

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