Sports Teams Nicknames – Dale’s Daily Data
There are many different ways pro sports teams decide on a nickname. Many are decided by suggestions from the fans. Some by the teams' geographic location. Some just by the whim of the owner. Among the teams in the NBA the Seattle Supersonics were named after a supersonic jet proposed by the Seattle-based Boeing Company in the late 1960's - a jet that was never built.
The Washington Wizards were previously known as the Washington Bullets and originally were the Baltimore Bullets named in honor of a Baltimore ammunition factory that supplied American troops during World War Two.
The New York Knicks. It's short for knickerbockers, the pants that Dutch settlers in New York wore in the 1600's.
The Indiana Pacers were named by the owners who wanted to "set the pace" in the NBA.
The Detroit Pistons were originally located in Fort Wayne, Indiana and the team's owner operated a piston factory. They became the Detroit Pistons in 1957.
The Los Angeles Lakers? There aren't too many lakes in Los Angeles. The team was originally the Minneapolis Lakers in the state of Minnesota - the land of a thousand lakes.
The Orlando Magic? They were inspired by Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom.
The New Jersey Nets were originally called the New York Nets apparently just an attempt to maintain the flow the baseball Mets and football Jets.
Back in the late 1940's and early '50's Buffalo had a football team in the All-American Football Conference. The owners held a contest to name the team. Bullets, Nickels and Blue Devils were considered, but Buffalo Bills won out and came with a $500 prize. The winner James Dyson wrote that Buffalo Bill Cody was a trailblazer of the American frontier and the football team was opening a new frontier in Buffalo sports.
The Knox brothers, the original owners of the Buffalo Sabres held a name the team contest and Sabres won because Seymour Knox felt a sabre was a weapon carried by a leader.