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What’s In A Name?

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Doc was recently quoted as saying this about the nickname "the Big Three": 

"Honestly, I don't like that," Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said at the team's media day on Friday. "Because [Kevin] McHale, [Robert] Parish and [Larry] Bird were 'The Big Three.' So come up with another one."

How many failed attempts have we already seen to rename the trio of Pierce, Garnett, and Ray Allen?  Too many to count.  Back in August, I posted a poll with a few selections to pick from.  A few got some votes like "The Next Three" (a little too "We got next" for most people) and "The New Three" (they won’t be new for long).  But can you guess what got 61% of the vote?  "None of the above."  

Marc Spears posted on his blog that he wanted to call them "the GAP Band" (Garnett-Allen-Pierce).  I think that might be a little too obscure.  Eric Weiss posted an article on this site calling them "GPA - 3.0."  Clever, but just a B- average?  At one point I came up with "Trio Grande," which is probably just a little too cutesy for most people.  The Celtics Stuff Live guys tried "the Troika" but again, that seems unfamiliar and foreign to most.

No new names really seem to stick to these guys.

So why bother?  Why not just call them Garnett, Pierce, and Allen?  For one thing, that’s a lot to write out every time.  For another, which Allen are we talking about?  There’s Tony on the team too.  So you have to write that out too.  Maybe this isn’t a big deal for many readers, but for bloggers and forum posters, this is important, time saving stuff.

It is also important that these guys have an identity.  All our hopes rest on their shoulders and they are bound together by common backgrounds (losing teams) and a common goal.  This group screams out for a nickname.  It just can’t and won’t be thrust upon them by a contrived nickname contest or a clever beat writer.  It just won’t happen.

The way I see it, there’s only two ways this can go.  Either we will have to see if something presents itself naturally over time (think "Cowboy Up" or "Miracle Mets"), or we’ll have to cave in and start calling them The Big Three, no matter what Doc says.

The way I see it, people all around the country are already calling them "The Big Three."  I understand where Doc is comming from, but I'm starting to see the other side too. 

If you flip it around in your mind, we are actually paying homage to Larry, Kevin, and Robert when we use that name.  It takes nothing away from them because the three guys using the name now have a legit shot at the Hall of Fame.  It’s not like we’re giving the name to Blount, LaFrentz, and Ricky Davis.  If this new "Big Three" wins a championship, then they’ll prove that they are worthy of the name.  If they don’t, we can always look back and laugh at ourselves and refer to Larry, Kevin, and Robert as "the real Big Three."

I think that unless something better evolves over the early season, I'm going to keep calling them the Big Three. 

"That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
-- Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet