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Wizards, D-League get Bluer

Vander Blue, MarShon Brooks

Vander Blue, MarShon Brooks


It was a Blue day.

In the silliest of sequiturs, the Thunder named their D-League team the Oklahoma City Blue and the Wizards signed Vander Blue.

I like one of those moves much more than the other.

Let’s start with the bad.

The Thunder were cursed the moment they decided not to nickname their D-League team the Lightning. Thunder and Lightning! Maybe it was too perfect.

As an alternative, Blue is fine, though uninspiring.
Here’s the Thunder’s crack at getting you excited about it, though:

“Blue is one of our primary Thunder colors, but it has become more than just a color for us. It has come to represent the passion, loyalty and unity of our fans and our community in their support for our team. Our players wear it proudly on their uniforms, our fans sport Thunder blue shirts, Thunder blue flags fly across Oklahoma and our statewide Blue Alliance fan groups show their connection to our team and what it stands for,” said Brian Byrnes, Thunder senior vice president of Sales and Marketing.

“It is only fitting that our development team, which is such an integral part of our organization, be called the Blue to represent the cohesion it has with the Thunder. We think this new name accurately reflects the enhanced unity between the two teams, which are now geographically and philosophically aligned in Oklahoma City and focused on development.”

The logo is also pretty bland and harmless:

The Rockets are using the D-League for daring experiments, and the Thunder are trotting out this. At least Josh Huestis will make the Blue interesting.

On the flip side, via Shams Charania of RealGM:

Blue is a nice addition to the shooting-guard competition that also includes Rasual Butler and Xavier Silas. All three are vying for a spot on the regular-season roster and maybe even the role as Bradley Beal’s primary backup.

After leaving Marquette early, Blue went undrafted in 2013. He played for eight teams on three continents last season, which led to this fantastic anecdote while he was in the D-League:

The Stampede’s bus finally pulls into a budget hotel on the outskirts of Dallas, and Blue checks into a room he has been assigned to share with a teammate. They are both hungry, so Blue volunteers to order a pizza. He calls to place the order and gives the clerk his credit card number.

“Sorry,” the clerk says. “That card was denied.”

“Again?” Blue says. The credit card company had blocked his account for suspicious activity at least half a dozen times in the past year; his moves are so incessant that the company often believes his card has been stolen. He had been declined when trying to buy dinner for a date at an Applebee’s in Delaware. He had been declined again while buying shoes at a mall in Israel.

“Hello,” he says, when a representative from the credit card company finally answers. “You all blocked my card again.”

Blue’s journey including an NBA stop, playing 15 minutes for the Celtics. He can get to the basket and has the athleticism to defend well, but he must improve his jumper.

He won’t necessarily beat out Butler or Silas, but he definitely increases the Wizards’ chances of finding a suitable backup shooting guard in training camp.