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Dan Devine

Dick Stockton is struggling with this whole DeJuan Blair name thing

All right, Dick Stockton. You don't like me and I don't like you. Nonetheless, we're both professional basketball people, after a fashion, and we both seem to have spent a fair amount of time recently thinking about DeJuan Blair — specifically, vis-a-vis his name. And because I consider myself something of an expert in what DeJuan Blair's name actually is (NOTE: It's DeJuan Blair), I feel it's my duty to issue you an ultimatum. To throw down the gauntlet, as it were.

You can call him DeJuan Blair (which he is, by way of the conventions of parental naming). You can call him DeJuan Bear (which he also is, by way of adorable and appropriate nicknames). You can call him DeJuan Butler (but probably shouldn't, because that's not his name, and there's a decent chance you're thinking of former West Virginia University star Da'Sean Butler). But you can't call him all three in a week. It confuses us, stomps our mind grapes and makes it more difficult for us to focus on what really matters.

Like, for example, a textbook pick-and-roll-and-dunk executed by Blair and Tony Parker on Rodrigue Beaubois (who showed signs of abject beastliness last night, which surprised exactly no one who'd actually seen him this year) and Erick Dampier (who, um, really centers the NBA logo on his headband nicely; seriously, it's always exactly in the middle of his forehead) late in the second quarter of the San Antonio Spurs' series-ending Game 6 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.

Nice and simple -- guard drives baseline and draws two defenders, screener dives to the bucket, quick pass, one step, and here's where the strings come in. Beautiful music, no matter what name you call it. (But seriously, Dick, it's Blair. Or Bear.)

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