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Andrei Kirilenko and Karl Malone (Photos by Mike Ehrmann & Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
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Poll: The Utah Jazz All-Time Best Nickname – Final Round

Andrei Kirilenko and Karl Malone (Photos by Mike Ehrmann & Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Karl Malone is back in the Finals. That is to say, “The Mailman” is back in the Finals. The KSL Sports All-Time Best Utah Jazz Nickname Bracket has been widdled down to the two top contenders from a field of eight. Malone will face off in the winner-take-all final matchup against former Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko, also known by his nickname “AK-47.

Malone and his postal themed nickname advanced past current Jazz All-Star Donovan “Spida” Mitchell. Meanwhile, Kirilenko outdueled fellow firearm themed pseudonym “Pistol” Pete Maravich in the semifinals.

Now, “The Mailman” and “AK-47” will meet in the final round of the nickname bracket.

The Finals: The Mailman vs. AK-47

The final nickname faceoff will run through Friday, November 13, with the winner being tallied by your vote.

1. The Mailman: The top contender in the bracket is unquestionably Karl “The Mailman” Malone who earned his name at Louisiana Tech because he always delivered in the post. The nickname was so iconic it was universally known before Malone even reached the NBA, as then-head coach Frank Layden announced to Jazz fans “We’re going to bring a mailman to Utah” when the Jazz drafted the future Hall of Famer with the 13th pick in the 1985 NBA draft.


4. AK-47: Teaming a player’s initials with his jersey number to create a nickname was a bit of a fad in the early 2000s and has continued to find a footing in the modern league. Kobe Bryant was briefly called KB8,  Chris Paul still carries the nickname CP3, while Paul George is commonly referred to as PG-13.

Truthfully, they’re lazy nicknames and rarely do much beyond abbreviating a player’s name. However, Andrei Kirilenko’s “AK-47” bucks that trend by both incorporating his initials and jersey number, while providing a cultural reference to the one-time All-Star’s Russian heritage. Kirilenko was too cool to not have a nickname, and “AK-47” fits him perfectly.

Vote in the Jazz nickname final round now!

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