OKC Thunder: Genesis of player nicknames OK3, Brodie, and Chinese versions

Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder

Diving into the nicknames for the OKC Thunder

Often, a player can have copious monikers. Russell Westbrook for example has many different nicknames. The list has included his dog’s name The Brodie. Some originally thought this nickname may be tied to The Wire television show and a character named Bodie. Westbrook looks a bit like the actor who plays the part (JD Williams). Therefore, it was presumed that was where it originated. But, research confirms it is his Maltese dog that is named Brodie.

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Westbrook is also dubbed Little Fury, Little Rage, Westbeast, Bestbrook and Beastbrook. His chinese nickname is Wei Dude. As per Nick Kapur’s tweet the original translation “guarding dude” was updated to “dominating dude”. The latter for obvious reasons.

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Westbrook is one of the few NBA stars who has several Chinese nicknames. Kapur’s article in The Guardian detailed more about his numerous Chinese nicknames.

"Although his name is only two words in English, in phonetic Chinese, it becomes the eight character monster 拉塞尔·衛斯布鲁克 (which in pinyin is luó sù · wèi sī tè bù lǔ kè, pronounced Loh-Soo Way-Suh-Tuh-Boo-Loo-Kuh), for a staggering total of 77 individual strokes, even using the much simplified Chinese characters favored in mainland China. No wonder Chinese fans prefer to call him something much shorter, like 威少 (“Lord Wei,” from the first syllable of “Westbrook”), 忍者龟 (“The Ninja Turtle,” because people think he looks like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle), or simply 西河 (“The Western River,” a direct translation of “Westbrook”)."

Paul George:

George also has several nickname choices – PG-13, Young Trece, Batman (never heard that one before, but basketball reference lists it). And of course his self titled ‘Playoff P’.

PG-13 is most synonymous with George and had me wishing Nick Collison had switched his jersey to 17 so OKC Thunder could have a PG13 and NC17 on the same team.

George’s chinese nickname is 泡椒 which translated means “Pickled Chili Pepper”. Apparently this has more to do with the pronunciation. As per Kapur pao jiao, sounds a bit like “Paul George”.

Carmelo Anthony

I often wondered whether Melo originated just because of Anthony’s first name or whether it was tied to his demeanor. Anthony always seems so chill, so maybe there is something to that.

Most of Anthony’s nicknames are iterations of Melo such as Hoodie Melo, Olympic Melo and Sweet Melon. Even his Chinese nickname is in reference to his North American version:  – 甜瓜 means “Melon”.

Other names like “Captain America” and “The Patriot” came from his four Olympic terms.

Steven Adams

Basketball Reference lists Kiwi Phenom as his nickname. Oddly, that’s not a name fans hear mentioned in broadcasts. Adams middle name (Funaki) sure seems like the perfect starting point for a nickname. The Great Funaki just sounds like it would be a great moniker for the center.

Adams is one of the players who have a couple Chinese nicknames (see Mamba section below). As for his most used Chinese nickname it’s Aquaman. Thunder fans have witnessed the comparison to Jason Momoa before when they clamored for Adams to get a guest stint on Game of Thrones.

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Other OKC Thunder Player Nicknames:

  • Josh Huestis: Cowboy
  • Patrick Patterson: 2Pat, Pat Pat
  • Raymond Felton: Felts
  • Andre Roberson: ARob, Fly Dre21
  • Dakari Johnson: SlowMo, DJ, Big D
  • Terrance Ferguson: 2K, T-Ferg
  • Corey Brewer: The Drunken Dribbler (I mean this is just too good), Greyhound
  • Nick Collison: Mr. Thunder. Although not listed anywhere Collison could easily be dubbed Captain America or  Captain Thunder.
  • Kyle Singler: “The Wig”, (is this because of his hair? Just saying) “The Bucket Man”, “K-Smooth

OKC Thunder Players without publicized nicknames:

Jerami Grant,  and Alex Abrines don’t have any nicknames listed. Perhaps the fanbase should work on creating them. It seems odd Grant doesn’t have a nickname given his athleticism and dunks/blocks.

Abrines could easily be the Spanish Sniper or Thunder Teen Wolf given his penchant for those crazy sideburns.