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Petition seeks to change name of city in Oklahoma from Durant to Westbrook

Kevin Durant speaks at a news conference on June 1.
(Nate Billings / Oklahoman)

Kevin Durant is done with Oklahoma, so apparently some folks in the state want nothing to do with him — or even things that remind them of the NBA star.

There’s a petition on change.org looking to have the name of Durant, Okla. — an actual city with a population of more than 15,000 — to Westbrook, Okla.

The reasoning is, of course, that Durant (the player) left the Oklahoma City Thunder as a free agent this summer to join the Golden State Warriors while the team’s other star, Russell Westbrook, ended up signing a three-year contract extension to remain with the Thunder.

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“Kevin Durant has left our state, torn out our hearts, and left our beloved Oklahoma City Thunder in depleted shape,” wrote Edmond, Okla., resident Ryan Nazari, who started the petition.

“It is because of this heinous action that I believe the State of Oklahoma has a responsibility to change the name of the City of Durant to Westbrook, the man who is loyal, whom we believe in, and who will lead our team to glory.”

Several points can be made here. First, the city of Durant wasn’t named after the basketball player. It is, instead, the namesake of Dixon Durant, who founded the city around 1870, more than 100 years before the former NBA MVP was born.

“Yes, it is understood that the city Durant was not named after the evil Kevin Durant,” the petition acknowledges, “but it is just another hideous reminder of what happened to our community.”

It is just another hideous reminder of what happened to our community.

Ryan Nazari

The city, known as the state’s magnolia capitol, is 150 miles from Oklahoma City (and 162 miles from Nazari’s hometown of Edmond).

Also, the two names may be spelled the same, but they’re pronounced differently: The city, like its founder’s name, is “DOO-rant;” the player’s name is said like half the name of the ‘80s pop group that sings “Hungry Like the Wolf” with a T at the end.

Nonetheless, more than 1,900 people have signed the petition, which will be delivered to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Durant Mayor Stewart Hoffman.


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