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What's in a nickname? Kevin Durant already has a good one

COMMENTARY — Despite everyone's efforts to give the Thunder superstar a supersized nickname, he'll just stick with KD, thanks.
by Jenni Carlson Published: February 19, 2014

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Yep, that works quite nicely.

“I like the initials,” Durant said. “It's like KG, AI, those guys.”

Some people are blessed with good initials. Kevin Garnett is KG. Allen Iverson is AI. Heck, the greatest of them all was best known by his initials.


Even though folks tried to stick Michael Jordan with other nicknames — Air Jordan prime among them — those initials were all that he needed.

No reason that KD isn't enough of a nickname for Durant. Say KD, and everyone in sports knows exactly who you're talking about. If Durant keeps on the trajectory that he's on now, it won't be long before the whole world knows about KD.

One Internet blogger suggested KD as a nickname is lame.

In what universe?

It's so unlame that Nike, the reigning and undisputed king of promotion, built an entire apparel line around the initials. There are KD shoes. KD shirts. KD hats. KD jackets. KD backpacks.

Listen, I understand the love of nicknames. It's fun talking about Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen), Skip to My Lou (Rafer Alston), The Birdman (Chris Andersen), Melo (Carmelo Anthony) and Agent Zero (Gilbert Arenas).

And those are just the As.

There are classic nicknames from yesteryear. The Iceman. Earl the Pearl. Pistol Pete.

There are memorable nicknames from more recent times. The Dream. The Mailman. The Glove.

There are nicknames that just make you smile. The Round Mound of Rebound. The Hick from French Lick. The Worm.

And then there's Shaquille O'Neal. He's a nickname category all on his own. You can call him Shaq Daddy. Or Shaq Fu. Or The Big Aristotle. Or about half a dozen other names.

You can't throw a chest pass in the NBA without hitting someone with a nickname.

So, now with Durant playing the best basketball of his career and emerging as the clear-cut leader in the MVP race, fans have gotten hung up on his nickname. He needs one, and the sports world is ready to do something about it, darn it.

But he already has one. One that's good. One that he likes.

Suspend the campaign. Stop the movement. End the madness.

KD has spoken.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni Carlson can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at, follow her at or view her personality page at

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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