The best thing about the Oklahoma City Thunder’s advancement in this year’s NBA Playoffs — and yes, it’s even better than watching Kevin Durant on a big stage (that dude couldn’t even get to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament) — is getting to say “Thunder” a lot more. I’ve said this before (possibly in this forum) that I love seeing the Thunder as a road team on ESPN’s BottomLine, because I automatically connect “Thunder” to whatever other team they’re playing.

But what makes the best combination? What teams would do best by “thundering up”?*

*This whole project, of course, was simply the best and most rational way to deal with the death of Osama bin Laden.

30. ThunderBobcats

Bobcats has always been a terrible name, and it even fails under thunderization.

29. ThunderCeltics

It’s just kind of paradoxical. It should be more like “RainyCeltics.”

28. ThunderMavericks

I really like Mavericks as a name. It requires no thundering.

27. ThunderSixers

The plus side here is, history would seem a lot cooler. At the same time, if we really want to honor our Founding Fathers, it should be “LightningSixers.”

26. ThunderPacers

Again, paradoxical. Pacers seem steady. Thunder never is.

25. ThunderThunder

I thought this would finish last myself, but it’s like some kind of, I don’t know, superthunder. It also reminds me of Little Caesar’s Pizza, which for some reason I consider a good thing.

24. ThunderPistons

If Detroit started putting ThunderPistons in their cars, maybe I’d go American.

23. ThunderCavs

This sounds slightly better than ThunderCavaliers. It does not sound good.

22. ThunderLakers

“What’s that over there?”

“Oh, it’s one of them thunderlakes.”


21. ThunderNuggets

I consider any particularly resonant factoid I come up with as a writer a “ThunderNugget.”

20. ThunderKnicks

It sounds better than ThunderKnickerbockers (obvs), but it doesn’t quite connote the idea as well as ThunderKnickers would.

“What are you wearing to dinner, honey?”

“My ThunderKnickers.”

“Not for long.”

19. ThunderNets

Fun Fact (or ThunderNugget): The ThunderNet — a kind of large-scaled microphone-infused takeoff on regular basketball nets — would have been employed had FOX ever gotten the rights to broadcast the NBA. Or if SlamBall stuck around another season.

18. ThunderHeat

Because like, how can heat be thunderized?

17. ThunderHornets

“What’s that loud noise?”

“S***, the ThunderHornets are coming!”


Yeah, you’ve got yourself a horror/thriller franchise now.

16. ThunderClippers

Knarr is actually just Norse for “ThunderClipper.”

15. ThunderSpurs

Safe to say I’ve never bought spurs or seen them in a store — where do you buy spurs? A sporting goods store? A general store? Are there spur outlets? — but I can totally see a sign in a spur store reading “‘THUNDER’ Spurs…$14.99.” These “THUNDERSpurs” would of course be playful spurs marketed to children as toys.

I also have no idea how much spurs cost. They have to be at least three times that quoted amount, right?

14. ThunderMagic

I’m almost certain I’ve seen an infomercial for a vacuum called “ThunderMagic.”

13. ThunderBucks

I don’t know what would qualify a buck as a ThunderBuck, but I do know several uncles who would spend their weekends trying to hunt it.

12. ThunderJazz

I don’t really listen to jazz, but I would definitely be open to trying out some ThunderJazz.

11. ThunderGrizzlies

“Grizzly Man” – Werner Herzog + Michael Bay = “ThunderGrizzlies”

10. ThunderWizards

I would have read Harry Potter or T.H. White if they made it clear ThunderWizards were involved.


(From here on out, every team name is made better by being thunderized, and all these teams should adopt their new Thunder names immediately.)

9. ThunderBulls

“In post-apocalyptic Europe, only one tradition of the Old World remains. But now, it’s the humans that are the game during the…RUNNING OF THE THUNDERBULLS! In theaters Memorial Day Weekend.”

8. ThunderBlazers

This is what a group of sci-fi, RPG-playing nerds who also very overtly smoke pot would call both themselves and their activity. “ThunderBlazing” would refer specifically to smoking pot while watching Battlestar: Galactica.

7. ThunderSuns

Unlike heat, there can be types of suns. And a planetary system centered on a ThunderSun would, of course, breed the most superintelligent, hypersexual form of life imaginable.

6. ThunderWarriors

The ThunderWarriors would be those called to protect us from the onslaught of any kind of thunderized beast — be it hornet, raptor, grizzly, or bull — or a particularly dangerous Oklahoma gang.

5. ThunderKings

Obviously, these are the ThunderWarriors’ rival gang. Also, James VI of Scotland, upon becoming James I of England, often referred to himself in the third-person as the “ThunderKing.” It was a main reason he was disliked.

4. ThunderHawks

This is just a legitimately good team name. Hawks are in the sky, so is thunder, I think there’s some Native American connection here. They really should have been named the Oklahoma City ThunderHawks.

3. ThunderWolves

Same thing. ThunderWolves are way scarier/cooler/awesomer than Timberwolves. Plus, Minnesota gets some crazy weather, at least according to every Coen brothers’ film.

2. ThunderRockets

When NASA bounces back in some revised form in the early 22nd century, it will be ThunderRockets that not only take humans to Mars but beyond into the great expanse of space. It is there that we will encounter…

1. ThunderRaptors

You’re terrified of the basic idea. How can raptors be…thunderized? Little-known truth about old Earth: A meteor didn’t kill the dinosaurs. The ThunderRaptors did. Then, finding Earth a little blasé, they built their ThunderRockets — because ThunderRaptors are also superintelligent beings whose first major technological concoction was arm extenders — and decided to live in another star system, probably one that revolves around a ThunderSun.

I can say no more, or else I’ll spoil the entire plot of my upcoming pentalogy of thousand-page novels — turned into multi-billion dollar films, of course — entitled ThunderWorld. It will star Rip Torn.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by mike roscitt on May 6, 2011 at 7:49 AM



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