The NBA filed for trademark rights to six nicknames for Oklahoma City’s franchise on Monday – Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshalls, Thunder and Wind, according to the United States Patent and Trademark office.
There is more evidence Thunder could be the nickname. A search of Whois reveals the domain name Thunder.com was created for Thunder.Net Communications, based in California, in July of 1994 but the domain name rights expires on July 26 (Sunday).
It’s not known whether the NBA or owner Clay Bennett have held discussions with Thunder.Net Communications.
KOCO-TV has reported that "according to a source close to the ownership group," the name will be Thunder.
Thunder was the winner of a fan vote on NewsOK.com
“The NBA will not have a comment on this until a nickname is selected,” said Tim Frank, NBA senior director of basketball communications.
When asked if the Charlotte Bobcats or other teams went through a similar process, submitting as many six nicknames, Frank said: “Right now we won’t get into any specifics about the process.
“When we have a name the Oklahoma City team will announce it. The process is ongoing. We’re not going to get into specifics until it’s time to reveal the name.”
One theory is Oklahoma City must choose a nickname soon before the NBA announces the 2008-2009 schedule, which traditionally is released the first week in August.
“That’s a flawed theory,” Frank said. “The schedule is not done. We’re not holding up the schedule because of the nickname.”