‘NCIS: New Orleans’: How Did Pride Get the Nickname ‘King’?

If you’ve ever watched NCIS: New Orleans, you might’ve caught some of the field agents calling Scott Bakula’s character, Dwayne Pride, “King.” Special Agent Christopher LaSalle (Lucas Black) said it most often. However, now that he’s gone, new viewers may not catch the story behind the nickname. Read on to find out how Pride earned the title of royalty.

Did the real-life NCIS agent D’Wayne Swear have the same nickname?

'NCIS: New Orleans'
Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Pride | Sam Lothridge/CBS via Getty Images

Dwayne Cassius “King” Pride didn’t stem from nowhere. Real-life hero, D’wayne Swear, inspired the NOLA Supervisory Agent. A lot of the main pieces of Pride are similar to Swear’s actual experience with NCIS and Jefferson Parish.

Swear passed in 2018 from cancer in his Gulfport, Mississippi home, but his legacy lives on through Pride and the NCIS cases he and his team solve. Though retired, Swear consulted for the show for accuracy.

That said, it’s unclear if Swear shared Pride’s nickname, “King.” If he didn’t, we’ll assume based on his outstanding resume, he should have.

How did Pride get the nickname ‘King’?

NCIS: New Orleans Season 1 revealed why Pride is known as “King.” In “Cresent City,” the show set up what would become the basis for the NOLA iteration and Pride’s part inside of it.

Special Agent Meredith Brody (Zoe McLellan) was just as confused as new viewers, leaving LaSalle to explain the history. When Pride opened the NOLA satellite office, he made the drug bust of the century.

The local crew was so grateful, they gave Pride honorary member perks, such as the name he’d always be remembered by: King. LaSalle, a former Sherrif’s deputy, remembered the story for an important reason. The bust came around the time of Hurricane Katrina, which is when “King” saved his life.

Here’s how ‘King’ helped shape the tone of the series

In a previous interview with TV Line, Bakula explained how Pride’s reigning title and the responsibilities that come with it have helped shape the series.

“The city means everything to him, and he cares about everyone,” he said. “It’s more important to him than his own life. It’s extreme, but it’s true.”

Those exact sentiments are why Pride will do everything he can to keep his friends, family, and city safe. You don’t get the nickname “King” for nothing and around NOLA, Pride is definitely the king.