As if facing elimination in the 2012 NBA Finals wasn’t enough to worry about, Oklahoma City Thunder star forward Kevin Durant just had another troubling situation added to his proverbial plate.
According to the LA Times, Durant, who is scheduled to take on Lebron James and the Miami Heat later tonight for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, is getting sued over his nickname, “Durantula.”
In court documents obtained by TMZ, guitarist Mark Durante — who played with The Aliens, Public Enemy, The Next Big Thing and the Slammin Watusis in the 1980s — claims he trademarked the moniker in 1993 and that Durant has been cashing in on it without his permission.
In response to the allegations, Durant’s representatives have sent letters to the guitarist saying that “Kevin does not use the term as a nickname and has no intention of doing so,” according to the suit.
Durante, however, points out that Nike has used the nickname to launch a shoe campaign — and adds that KD himself signed “Durantula” on basketballs that are for sale through his website.
TMZ reports that the guitarist is suing for damages and an injunction to stop Kevin Durant from using the name.
While I — a fairly avid hoops fan — have personally never heard Kevin Durant referred to as “Durantula,” a quick search on the interwebz turned up multiple listings for basketballs that were signed by the star where he additionally inscribed the moniker on the ball.
Though neither Durante or Durant could be reached for comment on the lawsuit, Marc Reiner, chair of the intellectual property group at Anderson Kill & Olick, told the Chicago Tribune that the guitarist could face a battle in attempting to hold on to his nickname because rock musicians and basketball stars are not direct competitors.
“Nicknames, even those rising to the level of ‘marketing identities,’ are often not exclusive,” he said, “and sometimes more than one entertainer/athlete has the same nicknames.”