Since Jeremy Lin, the “unknown one from nowhere”, transformed into the iconic craziness of Lin-sanity, the literary creative juices of fans and the media have been flowing overtime, especially every time something momentarily momentous happens in New York sports. Pun after pun after pun has been reigning over and on the Knickscape because of Lin-mania and now it’s Steve Novak’s turn to get us all atwitter and to get himself an appropriate, funky, silly or punny nickname to match his recent notable exploits on the court.
Lest your head has been in a Nook or granny’s lap, or something like nooks and crannies, Novak is the three-point sharp shooter, who had been noticed by the bulk of Knicks fans during the emergence of Jeremy Lin, and has now gained the attention of mainstream media too. After another amazing shooting display, this one against the stunned Cavaliers, that ended in a Knick victory, articles have appeared about Novak’s rise, how he was raised as a coach’s son in Wisconsin, and even the search for an appropriate nickname for Novak. However, the search is not a new one. As long ago as 2009, current teammate Baron Davis was searching for a Novak nickname after a fiery shooting exhibition and victory when they were previously together on the Clippers. BIIINGO came to his mind then. The name which seems to be catching on in the media today is “Supernova.” Previously, fans had settled on Novakaine or Novacaine.
Novakaine is of course a reference to the drug novacaine which is used to dull the senses to pain. In this instance the pun can take on at least two meanings. Not only is Novakaine a reference to how Novak’s three point surges dull the senses of the opponent, but it also denotes the pain that he brings the opposition. This nickname lends itself to various pun formulations as in “Novakaine brings the pain again” or “Cavs Shot Up With Novakaine.” Novacaine even has at least one song, “Give Me Novacaine” by Green Day.
Supernova is perhaps a name of greater stature as it elevates Novak to star status so to speak. It also refers to his pyrotechnics, a fiery spontaneous explosiveness like the combustion of sunspots. In some ways, it puts him on par with other Supers (not a reference to someone who works for Sheldon Williams, the Landlord), like Superman Shaq and Superman Dwight Howard. (Shaq hasn’t gotten over his retirement and is super-pissed that Dwight borrowed the same character name he used before he wore Celtic-kryptonite signifying his downfall. Talk about insanity). With this moniker, headlines may read “Supernova Burns Heat” or “Supernova Lights Up the Garden.” For this punny nickname, there is a song called Champagne Supernova (slightly reminiscent of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” with an alleged drug reference compared to this song’s clear celebration of artificially induced highs) but the Garden marketers would probably prefer a less controversial song like Earth Wind and Fire’s Shining Star. (We could change the lyrics, ala Landry Fields with “Billionaire, ” to “Shining Star We Know Who You Are, Shining Bright To See, How You Raining Threes.”)
There have been other suggestions like “The Dentist” raised recently by a listener on the B&C morning show. Why? “The Dentist” refers to Novak’s habit of drilling 3’s. (I suppose he could also be “The Plumber” because he drains threes too. Or maybe we can him “Draino” or “Drainova”) Then there is Stevesanity which is an overstretched outgrowth of Lin-sanity and can lead to all kinds of slippery slope craziness such as JORT-sanity or Shump-sanity (I bet Bubba from the movie “Gump” could come up with a bunch of “Shump” names) or even Dolan-sanity (which some fans would claim is more of an oxymoron than a pun). So I’m thinking what about ReNovator, a reference to Novak’s contribution in renovating the Garden spirit in the spirit of recent renovations at the Garden. Or InNovator, as in Novak’s shots go in? Or maybe, LiNovator as in the power of the dynamic duo to create something new and fresh in the Garden — persistent excitement. Hmmmm. Naa, maybe not.
In any event, there must be a good Knickname out there. Which nickname do you prefer or can you come up with a better one? If you have a better one, leave your new nickname in the comment section with a short explanation.