Study: Kobe, Amare, Kyrie Among Most Popular NBA-Inspired Baby Names

by abournenesn

Dec 5, 2014

Kobe no longer is just the name of a delicious cut of beef and an NBA player.

It’s likely that you’ve seen a few other people with the name Kobe pop up outside the NBA, which follows a trend of people naming their kids after popular athletes, according to research done by SB Nation. Tom Ziller took a look at the Social Security Administration baby name database, and it seems more parents name their kids after Kobe than any other current NBA player.


As you can see in the chart above, names like Shaquille, Kobe, Amare and Carmelo have trended in interesting ways over the last 20-plus years. The name Shaquille had an interesting run and peaked in the top 1,000 boys names from 1991 to 1996. O’Neal dominated college basketball in 1990-91, and “Kazaam” was released in 1996. You can create your own correlation.

The name Kobe didn’t appear in the top 1,000 boys names until 1997, according to the data. Bryant’s rookie year was in 1997. The name remains among the top 500 most popular boys names.

Carmelo entered the top name conversation in 2004, during Carmelo Anthony’s rookie season in the NBA, and just one year after he led Syracuse to a national championship.

According to the data, the name Kyrie continues to surge in popularity after Kyrie Irving burst on the scene in 2011.

Interestingly enough, the name LeBron has not yet cracked the top 1,000 baby name ranks.

Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images

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