When I saw a news squib about the former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon filing a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA over the use of former athletes' images and likenesses in video games and TV ads, my first response was: I bet Sonny Vaccaro wishes he'd thought of this. Then I read the NYT article on the suit and it turns out he did: O’Bannon said he was approached about becoming the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit about a month ago by Sonny Vaccaro and his wife and business partner, Pam. Vaccaro is a longtime sneaker executive who has thrived on tormenting the N.C.A.A.
On the basketball courts of New York City, there may be no truer measure of a player's stature than his nickname. If a player is considered good, then his moniker will be something straightforward: "Pee Wee" if he is short; "Lefty" if he shoots with that hand. But if a player is viewed as great, then his talent can actually inspire poetry. He will be called "Half-Man Half-Amazing" for his superhuman dunks or "Skip to My Lou" for the way he hopscotches down the court as he dribbles past hapless opponents.