Much of the buzz about the Minnesota Timberwolves this season has been surrounding Anthony Edwards, and rightfully so. The Wolves’ young star is having a career year and proving that he will be the face of the franchise for the foreseeable future.
His greatness has helped propel Minnesota to the sixth seed in the Western Conference with a little over a dozen games to go in the regular season. But we must be careful not to forget his draft classmate, Jaden McDaniels, who has had nearly as big an impact on winning this season as Ant.
McDaniels’ tenacious defense and expanding offensive repertoire have made him one of the most valuable three-and-D wings in the NBA. He is frequently taking on the assignment of guarding an opposing team’s best offensive player, getting stops and becoming much more than a spot-up shooter on the other end as well.
As we know, any great and beloved player like McDaniels needs a nickname. Recently, Timberwolves fans on Twitter have taken on the task of coming up with the best-fitting nickname for Jaden that they can, with varying results.
Timberwolves fans dislike “The Seatbelt”
One of the most popular nickname ideas that has been suggested for McDaniels is “The Seatbelt.” This name is a reference to his superb defensive abilities, as J-Mac tends to lock up opposing players as if he were strapping them down with a seatbelt.
This one has received mostly negative feedback from fans, however. The following tweet may sum up the majority of Timberwolves fans’ feelings:
Mixed reactions to “The Wasp”
Another common name that has been mentioned for McDaniels is “The Wasp.” This one may seem random at first glance, but it is a reference to the recently released Marvel movie “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
With Anthony Edwards already having the nickname “Ant,” some Wolves fans feel it would only be right for McDaniels to be referred to as “The Wasp.” Some have been lukewarm to the name, but others, like @WolvesPackBack on Twitter are all about it, with them even tagging Minnesota’s play-by-play announcer Michael Grady to encourage usage of the nickname.
Other various nicknames have been suggested by Timberwolves fans
With Jaden McDaniels’ high-level play this season, Timberwolves fans are eager to find him a nickname that fits, no matter what it is. J-Mac’s unique build and abilities have led to there being many options for a workable name.
Twitter user ‘Jaden McDaniels GOAT’ (@JadenMcDanielsF) compiled an entire list of names that have been suggested.
Of these nicknames, “Big Mac,” “Slim Mac,” and “JMac” all fall into the category of simple variations on McDaniels’ real name. These can all be appropriate abbreviations, but they do not quite capture the feeling of a true unique nickname.
“Gumby,” “The Mantis,” and “Slendy” all reference Jaden’s skinny frame. Whether any of these actually catch on remains to be seen, as Kevin Durant has already topped every other ‘skinny’ nickname with “The Slim Reaper.”
”McClampiels,” while clever, feels a little too forced to work out long-term. “The Warden,” another name referencing McDaniels’ lockdown defensive abilities, seems to have some potential.
With so many creative options for a nickname for Jaden McDaniels, it feels inevitable that something will catch on soon. In the end, it may be the Timberwolves’ broadcast crew that helps a nickname stick permanently.