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Talkin’ Nicknames And Celebrations With Russell Westbrook

by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 3, 2012

Two quirky things are starting to stand out more and more about Russell Westbrook.

The first is his growing usage of the celebration he displays following 3-pointers. He blows on three fingers from both of his hands and motions down to his side with each hand as if he’s holstering pistols.

The second is Westbrook doesn’t have a nickname. Most players as good as Westbrook have a nickname. But after nearly four seasons, Westbrook still is just, well, Russell Westbrook. You’d think that would have to change soon.

I spoke with Westbrook briefly about both things and here’s what he had to say.

Q: When you hit a 3, what do you call that thing you do with your hands?
A: I don’t call it nothing. A 3. It’s a celebration like everybody else got.

Q: Where did it start?
A: Honestly, I don’t know where it started from. I think it started two years ago, maybe. I just shoot a lot more now. Before I didn’t shoot as many. It was rare that I shot a lot (of 3s).

Q: What do you like about it? Does it get you going?
A: I’m already going when the game starts. Maybe it’s just something to keep the crowd involved or keep my team going. I don’t know, but I’m going to continue to do it.

Q: What about a nickname? It’s sort of strange that you don’t have a nickname. Have you ever had one?
A: No. I never had one. There’s never really been one. I just kind of play.

Q: Anything that you’ve heard that you’ve liked?
A: I haven’t really heard nothing to tell you the truth.

Q: Some people like ‘Honey Badger.’ Have you heard that?
A: Yeah. I’ve heard that before. But that’s the football dude’s. The dude that plays for LSU (cornerback Tyrann Mathieu). So that name is kind of out of the picture. That’s the only one I’ve really heard of before.

Q: You don’t have any others that you like or think fit?
A: Not that I know of. ‘Why Not?’ That’s my nickname. ‘Mr. Why Not?’


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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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