There are some names that people wonder how did that come about? One former NBA player has a name that sticks out, and that person is World B. Free. Yes, that is his name.
Born Lloyd Bernard Free, he decided to change his name legally to World. He also went on to have some success during his time in the NBA.
World B. Free was one of the top players during his career
The Philadelphia 76ers selected Free in the second round of the 1975 NBA draft. He spent three seasons with the 76ers, and during his rookie year, he averaged 8.3 points per game. His numbers improved over the next few seasons. During the 1977-78 season, he averaged 15.7 points and four assists in his final season with the 76ers. After playing in Philadelphia, he joined the San Diego Clippers. When he joined the Clippers, he took his game to another level. During the 1978-79 season, he averaged 28.8 points and 3.9 rebounds. He would top his points average the next season, averaging 30.2 points.
During the 1978-89 and 1979-80 season, George Gervin and Free were No. 1 and No. 2 in the league in scoring. Free only spent two seasons with the Clippers, but he quickly made an impact while he was there. He continued to be a top scorer in the league throughout his career, playing for multiple teams. Free had nine consecutive seasons where averaged more than 20 points per game. He played for six different teams during his career and spent most of his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
For his career, he averaged 20.3 points, 3.7 assists, and 2.7 rebounds. He made the All-Star team in 1980 and was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 1979. Bleacher Report has Free ranked No. 8 on the list of Top 25 all-time Cavaliers players. Looking at his numbers, Free knew how to score, and he did it well.
How did he come up with his name?
Free grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He was an exceptional basketball player during his high school career and was respected by many people in the Brooklyn area. A friend of his gave him the nickname ‘World’ on the Brooklyn playgrounds because of his ability to hit shots ‘around the world,’ on the court. That nickname stuck with him throughout his time in the NBA.
On December 8, 1981, he decided to change his name from Lloyd to World. He decided while he was enjoying a successful NBA career playing with the Golden State Warriors. A childhood nickname would later become his permanent name.
What is World B. Free doing now?
After his playing career finished, he returned to the 76ers organization and became an ambassador for the team. In that role, he has helped make an impact in the Philadelphia communities. He travels to different schools and recreation centers to teach the fundamentals of basketball and life. It’s good to see former players give back and be a part of the community they once played.
Free has become a household name on and off the court. Not only is he impacting the lives of many through basketball, but he is also using his platform to educate young people and help them succeed in life.