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 nicknames
BOSTON, MA – APRIL 11: Nik Stauskas #2 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots the ball over Aron Baynes #46 of the Boston Celtics during a game at TD Garden on April 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Nicknames from circumstance:

Some nicknames require further explanation on why they are so perfectly aligned. For example when Matt Bonner played in Toronto he was dubbed “The Red Rocket”.  Fans assumed this was in response his red mane and a bit of shade for his slowness. The truth is Toronto’s subway service is (TTC – Toronto Transit Commision) the mode of transportation Bonner took to each game. So, it was a natural leap to call Bonner The Red Rocket.

Perhaps the most interesting storyline for a nickname comes via Nik Stauskas being dubbed “Sauce Castillo”. When Stauskas was playing his College ball at Michigan State the person handling the closed captioning typed out Sauce Castillo instead of Stauskas. The Canadian started getting text and social messages from friends and fans using the term. When it kept happening Nik asked a friend what was up with the “Sauce Castillo” message. Stauskas embraced the name and took it a step further creating t-shirts, jerseys and even Sauce Castillo hot sauce.

Team or Player Grouping nicknames:

Often duos, trios and even groups (The Pistons Bad Boys) get their own nicknames.

  • OK3 – Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony
  • Stache Brothers – Steven Adams and Enes Kanter
  • The Splash Brothers – Steph Curry and Klay Thompson
  • Lob City – Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan
  • The Death (or Hampton line): Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala
  • The Heatles – LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh
  • The Bad Boys – Isiah Thomas era Pistons noted for being rough and tumble
  • Rick Mahorn and Jeff Ruland “McFilthy” and “McNasty”
  • Twin Towers – David Robinson and Tim Duncan: Although Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon were also dubbed the twin towers, due to the Spurs success it’s Timmy and the Admiral who fans think of.
  • The Boston Three Party – Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce
  • Run TMC – Warriors Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin (after hip-hop group Run D.M.C.)
  • Showtime – Magic Johnson Lakers era