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Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Russell Westbrook intrigued by idea of nicknames on jerseys

Russell Westbrook said he'd put “Why not?” on the back of his jersey if given the opportunity, paying homage to his self-created motto. Serge Ibaka, meanwhile, said he'd put “Avec Classe,” a French term meaning “with class.”
by Anthony Slater Published: September 27, 2013

Rumors surfaced earlier this week that the NBA would consider allowing the Heat and Nets to wear nicknames on the back of their jerseys for a matchup this season.

At Thunder Media Day on Friday, Russell Westbrook was asked about the idea and seemed intrigued.

“That's kind of interesting,” Westbrook said. “I just now saw that. It would probably be something fun, but there would probably be some limitations to what people can put on their jerseys.”

Westbrook said he'd put “Why not?” on the back of his jersey, paying homage to his self-created motto. Serge Ibaka, meanwhile, said he'd put “Avec Classe,” a French term meaning “with class” that Ibaka uses to promote himself on a consistent basis.

There has been no official announcement from the NBA, but the idea seems to be gaining steam.

“I like the idea of bringing nicknames,” Kevin Durant told ESPN earlier this week. “I think that would be pretty cool to see what other players come up with. But I wouldn't put Durantula on the back of mine, that's not my nickname. I'd put KD before I'd put Durantula on the back of mine.”


During an interview on Tuesday, Kevin Durant used a combined eight words to effectively set the NBA digital world aflame. Talk about efficiency.

Replying to a question regarding Sports Illustrated's top-10 list of NBA players, he said “I think you're missing James Harden,” and he should replace “Dwyane Wade.”

The reaction was quick and explosive: Wade responded via Instagram, clearly taking it as a slight and vowing to prove him wrong. Durant followed with a brief and effective rebuttal (“show me don't tweet me”).

Some have suggested that the whole thing was a marketing ploy.

On Thursday, Wade shot that down, maintaining that his reaction was authentic.

“He had an opinion, I had a response and there you have it,” Wade told reporters at a fashion event in Miami.

On Friday, Durant didn't backtrack. But he did seem intent on making it clear that his advocacy for Harden shouldn't be viewed as an insult to Wade.

“Dwyane Wade is a great, great player, man,” Durant said. “I'm not discrediting anything he's done or nothing like that. I just voiced my opinion. He's a great, great player. Finals MVP and champion. I didn't mean to disrespect that or take that away from him or anything. I just voiced my opinion as of today. I love you D-Wade. It's just competition.”

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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