Explaining the 15 oddest nicknames in Houston Rockets history

Houston Rockets James Harden Chris Paul (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden Chris Paul (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

15. James Harden – El Chapo

Everyone knows James Harden as The Beard but his other nickname might’ve slid past some. The nickname El Chapo has been around for a few years but trying to find the reasoning behind the nickname proved more difficult than I thought it would be.

Of course, the actual El Chapo was a powerful drug lord in the Mexican cartel who was able to escape prison possibly on multiple occasions. Some speculation is that Harden gave himself the nickname because it’s impossible to lock him up. Others believe he may have thought of the nickname because of his elusiveness.

As far as the origin, from what I can determine, Harden first had it above his locker room, which can be seen in this clip of him being interviewed that was posted in February 2017. Whether self-appointed or not, the choice of El Chapo is an odd one.

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Houston Rockets Steve Francis (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

14. Steve Francis – Wink, City

Steve De’Shawn Francis came to be known by everyone as Stevie Franchise, which is a solid choice given what he meant to the organization during his tenure. According to Basketball-Reference, however, Steve Francis has two other nicknames.

According to an official NBA.com camp biography of Francis, he received the nickname of Wink as a child. No explanation of the nickname is available on that source or anywhere else for that matter, however. Francis used the name in a signature 2001 shoe called the Reebok Wink DMX.

Related Story. Re-visiting Steve Francis’ best March 23rd games

As for the nickname City? I got nothing for you. I simply have no idea where that comes from but alas, it’s still listed in his bio til this day.

Next: No. 13 & 12