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ESPN expert says nickname has to be simple and end in 'S'

By Mike Koehler Published: August 1, 2008
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Paul Lukas, ESPN's guru for all things sports uniform-related, has some advice for Oklahoma City.

Keep it simple, keep it regional and for Pete's sake, have an ‘S' on the end of your NBA team's name.

On Thursday, Lukas, who writes a column for ESPN.com called ‘Uniwatch', unveiled ideas for Oklahoma City's NBA uniform. He asked for them on July 10 and said he ended up with more than 300 submissions.

"I got a bunch of responses right away, but most of those were all in the sour grapes category,” Lukas said. "They were from disgruntled Sonics fans, and a lot weren't printable.”

But beyond his readers' ideas for the Bolts, the Settler and the Panhandlers (Oklahoma has a panhandle, get it?), Lukas has some pointers to pass along to the team when it came to coming up with an honest-to-goodness nickname and uniform.

First, the name.

"I'm untenably opposed to any team that doesn't end with an ‘S',” Lukas said. "That reeks of arena football or the WNBA. It says you are rinky-dink.”

So much for Energy, Bison, Wind and Thunder, four of the six names that have been trademarked by the Oklahoma City NBA team's owners.

"I believe strongly with coming up with something with a regional heritage or a regional tie,” Lukas said.

All that leaves is Barons and Marshals, two teams that didn't make the finalists on Lukas' column, but still might have a chance for the real thing.

As with everything about the NBA team, we'll find out soon.


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