China is one of the NBA’s biggest markets. Now that the finals are right around the corner, it’s high time that someone translates the names of the players from the competing teams to Chinese.
As posted by Zheping Huang of Quartz, below are the Chinese nicknames of selected players from the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. Some of them completely personify each player. Some, however, aim to poke fun at them.
LeBron James’ nickname is 詹皇 (zhān huáng) or “Emperor James.” It is, of course, inspired by his English alias, King James. Some Chinese fans call him 吾皇 (wú huáng), or “My Emperor.”
Apart from his royal stature, James is also known for getting away with taking a step too many during games. And such, some call him 六步郎 (liù bù láng), or “Six-Step Bron” or even 蟹皇 (xiè huáng), or “Crab Emperor.”
His teammate J.R. Smith is labeled as 神经刀 (shénjīng dāo), or “Psychotic Blade.” It personifies his rather inconsistent play. As a streaky shooter, he’s capable of draining shot after shot. Yet there are times when he just can’t seem to find the basket.
For the Warriors, Stephen Curry is called 萌神 (méng shén), or “Cute God,” obviously for his youthful look. He’s 30 years old yet he may pass for a tall high school kid with prodigious shooting skills. Some also call him 小学生 (xiǎoxuéshēng), or “Primary School Student.”
Finally, there’s Klay Thompson who apparently reminds the Chinese of Buddha because of his round face And as a result, they call him 佛祖 (fózǔ), or “Buddha.” They also tag him as 汤神 (Tāng shén), or “Soup God,” since the word Thompson has the same character for “soup.” God is affixed due to his shooting prowess.
For the rest of the nicknames, check out the Quartz article linked above.