Did you know Ray Allen's full name is Walter Ray Allen, Jr.? Maybe you did. He's not alone in the middle-name-as-first-name realm. Either because they share a full name with their ancestors, because their parents are creative name-callers, or because they just don't like their first names, quite a few NBA players are called by their middle names. I, with help from Rodger Sherman, have prepared a list of these players for you.
To be clear, we're not counting guys who go initial names or names indicating generational stuff (J.R. Smith, P.J. Tucker, Trey Burke, etc.), nor are we including abbreviations of unusual names (DeShane "Shane" Larkin, Christapher "Chris" Johnson, Almario "Mario" Chalmers, etc.), nor are we concerned with foreign naming conventions, nor are we just listing NBA players with interesting middle names like Scitif and Johneal. We're also not including Jerome McKinley "Gerald" Henderson, because I haven't been able to figure out why both he and his dad are called that. And no Corperryale L'Adorable Harris, wonderful as that name is.
Just NBA players who go by their middle names. Got it? Let's go!
Ray Allen is Walter Ray Allen, Jr.
Caron Butler is James Caron Butler
No, Caron going by his first name would not make two James Butlers in the NBA. Jimmy Butler's first name is just Jimmy.
Stephen Curry is Wardell Stephen Curry, Jr.
Perhaps the best example of a junior, in this case the junior of a former NBA player, going by his middle name. I'd forgotten Dell Curry's full name was Wardell.
DeAndre Jordan is Hyland DeAndre Jordan, Jr.
Why not Hyland!? Why not "Hylander"!?
Jamal Crawford is Aaron Jamal Crawford
Of note: Aaron Brooks' full name is Aaron Jamal Brooks.
Glen Davis is Ronald Glen Davis
Ronald "Big" Baby.
Festus Ezeli is Ifeanyi Festus Ezeli-Ndulue
Might just be because Ifeanyi could be tough for Americans to pronounce?
Hollis Thompson is Keith Hollis Thompson II
Jae Crowder is Corey Jae Crowder
Interestingly, Jae Crowder's father is former NBA player Corey Crowder, whose full name is Jonathan Corey Crowder. So the Crowders have a different thing going on.
Tony Parker is William Anthony Parker, Jr.
Mike Scott is James Michael Scott
I bet a lot of people are.
Tyler Hansbrough is Andrew Tyler Hansbrough
Khris Middleton is James Khristian Middleton!
That last one might be my favorite. Khris Middleton could just be called James, but he's Khris, and that's great.
I hope this has been informative, and I invite you to share any I might have missed, historic middle-named players, or any other name facts you please in the comments.