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Happy Birthday, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

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Detroit's young guard is 22.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday dear papal shooting guard!

Happy birthday to you!

February 18, 1993 in Thomaston, Georgia, Rhonda Caldwell and Lawrence Pope welcomed into the world the future of the Detroit Pistons.  He was such a regal baby, that they could not decide on the surname he would carry, and thus afflicted him with a hyphenated designation, which would widely become known as one of the longest names in the NBA 21 years later.  This 22-lettered beast shares the title as the third longest name in NBA history, tied with Michael Ray Richardson, whose achievements range from 1983 All-Star to being drafted by the Knicks ahead of Larry Bird to being banished from the league for drug use, to making anti-semitic comments.  He also, however, did lead the league in both steals and assists one season, the first player to ever do so. A polarizing player for sure.

That means there are only two players in NBA history with longer names than KCP and MRR.

Martynas Andriuskevicius has 24 letters in his name.  Drafted 44th by Orlando in 2005, he was subsequently traded to the Cavaliers, where he played every single one of his 6 NBA games in 2005-06.  His most notable achievement is being punched in D-League practice by Awvee Storey, resulting in a concussion, fractured skull and left-sided brain hematoma.  Storey was dismissed from the league, but did return to play 26 games for Milwaukee in 2007-08.

Therefore, number one goes to Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo.  55 letters in all, although it might be cheating considering that professionally he is known as Dikembe Mutombo, a rather less impressive 14 letters.  Nevertheless, the Cookie Monster is the only notable player on this list.  The Congolese mountain was an 8 time All-Star, 4 time defensive player of the year, 6 times named to an All-Defensive team, twice named to the All-NBA third team, led the league in blocks for three consecutive seasons (1994-96) and rebounds for two consecutive seasons (2000-01).  He has career averages of 9.8ppg, 10.3rpg and 2.8bpg.

What was the point of this article again?  Oh yeah, happy birthday, KCP. I'm sure 22 is a magical year (I'll let you know when I get there), and let's hope your future career pans out more Mutombo and less Andriuskevicius-ish, OK?