Every year during the NBA Playoffs, there are trends and players that come out of nowhere and find themselves in the national spotlight.
This postseason, that title has been earned by Boston Celtics Guard Terry Rozier. Rozier, the 16th pick in the 2015 Draft, has developed the following season of a rock star because of a clever nickname bestowed upon him from his performance in the postseason so far. That nickname is “Scary Terry”.
It’s funny, most first round picks in the NBA become quite noticeable early in their careers. That was not the case for Rozier, who for his first two seasons became a nice role player for the Celtics.
This past season, Rozier quickly ascended as one of the main pieces to the bright future in Boston. With the unfortunate injury to Gordon Hayward, Rozier was able to elevate his game to a whole new level. Rozier’s game gained so much traction, that Barstool Sports podcast host, Coley Mick, dropped the nickname “Scary Terry”. The nickname quickly spread like wildfire on Twitter and all social media platforms. Rozier got word about the nickname, and he fell in love with it. So much so that All-Star Weekend, Rozier wore an exclusive shirt with the design of his body with a Jason mask from the Friday the 13th movie.
Rozier did decide to make one change to the design. He had the Jason mask replaced with a “Scream” mask. Rozier has a The “Scream” mask tattooed on him, plus it’s his favorite horror movie.
As the postseason season neared, Kyrie Irving got hurt, and it was announced that he would miss the rest of the season and playoffs. Again, someone needed to step up in Irving’s absence, and it was Rozier who’s legend continued to grow.
Early in the first round against the Milwaukee Bucks, Rozier began to shine.
His 23 points in game two led Boston to a 120-106 win, and a 2-0 series lead. Rozier followed up that performance with a memorable game seven. He notched 26 points in the Celtics 112-96 victory to push them to the Eastern Conference semifinals. As Rozier’s legend kept growing, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy saw dollar signs. Along with Coley Mick, Portnoy produced a brand new “Scary Terry” t-shirt in late April. The shirts sold like hotcakes.
With Rozier continuing to help Boston defeat Philadelphia to get to the Eastern Conference Finals, basketball fans and pundits began to question the nickname’s meaning.
According to David Mariotti and the help of Aaron Eanes and A&A Marketing Group, the nickname recognizes Rozier is putting fright into his opponents on the court and seems to be a master marketer off the court and on social media. “Scary Terry” has gotten so big, that there’s an official “Scary Terry” store, and his teammates are now wearing the shirts on the bench in warmups and during the games.
Rozier has transformed himself into one of the most prominent NBA players because of the “Scary Terry” phenomenon. The design, the meaning, and Rozier having excellent games in the playoffs are brilliant. And who knows, if Boston gets to the Finals, how much more the “Scary Terry” brand will evolve.
But for now, “Scary Terry” rules the basketball landscape and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.