Playing the Field: Durantula extinct, pole vaulters gone wild

Kevin Durant might have to give up his famed "Durantula" nickname.

Kevin Durant is on the verge of watching LeBron James steal his NBA championship. Now, he might also lose his nickname.

Durant, nicknamed “Durantula,” is being sued by a guitarist named Mark Durante who used the same moniker in the 1980s. Durante claims he registered a trademark on “Durantula,” according to TMZ.com. Frivolous or not, this thing is far from over. Assuming the rock star (we’re using that term loosely) wins, it seems the NBA’s scoring champion will need a new nickname.

Some ideas for our favorite player not named Kobe Bryant …

Lion-O: Again, we’re not up on our copyright infringement laws, but a guy who stars for the Oklahoma City Thunder should share the name of the leader of the famed Thudercats cartoon, right? We’re pretty positive the two sides could strike up a lucrative, marketing deal that would appease everyone. New uniforms?? Please …

Project Smooth: Other names we considered — like “The Smooth Operator” and “Silk” — we’re already taken, so we went out on a limb here. It’s got a certain ring to it, kind of like a cross between a hip-hop DJ and an And1 player.

OKBOMB: We’re skirting a fine line here as we try to incorporate one of the greatest tragedies (the 1995 bombing on Oklahoma City) into a catchy nickname. However, OKBOMB was the name of the investigation that led to the conviction of those terrorists. So it’s not all bad — plus, it’s the perfect way to describe Durant’s outside shooting.

Kat out of the bag, into Olympics?

The Olympics are coming, the Olympics are coming!

That time of year when the masses rev up fake patriotism to support niche sports. Are we hating on the Olympics a little bit? Perhaps. But perhaps we’re just being honest with ourselves.

I mean would you really watch water polo on a normal Sunday afternoon if your country’s honor wasn’t on the line? We’re going to say no … but if you would, then let us know. More power to you.

Anyway, we bring up the Olympics because an NFL cheerleader is competing for a spot on the U.S. pole vault team. Kat Majester, a rookie on the Atlanta Falcons cheer squad, is participating in the USA Track and Field Olympic Team Trials this week at the University of Oregon.

“I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast since I started at age 4,” she told an Oregon newspaper. “I know that this week the odds of me finishing top three are slim since I am far less experienced than any other girl out there.”

If Majester finishes in the top three, she will win a spot.

We know, we know … on to the photos

Pictures say a thousand words

Speaking of photos, Bleacher Report is reportedly set to be bought by Time Warner for $200 million. That’s a lot of moolah for a website that pretty much prides itself on rolling out slideshows.

Again, we could play the bitter journalist angle — Deadspin beat us to the punch there — but we won’t. We actually enjoy Bleacher Report and wish them well. Any time we Google anything even remotely sports-related, a clean-looking Bleacher Report slideshow is undoubtedly the first result. Since a picture says a thousand words, we’re clicking, especially on their new Swagger feature.



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