New nickname alert: How Kings rookie Nik Stauskas became 'Sauce Castillo'

On Tuesday night, away from the prying eyes of most of the NBA world — which is to say, during the broadcast of the matchup between the lottery-bound Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers — something beautiful happened. Luckily for us, Sixers fan/SPIN contributor Andrew Unterberger was there to witness it and relay it to the rest of us:

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Deadspin went back and pulled the closed-captioned footage from Tuesday night, and sure enough, the Kings were on that Sauce:

The birth of 'Sauce Castillo.' (Screencap via Deadspin)
The birth of 'Sauce Castillo.' (Screencap via Deadspin)

Being a right-minded individual, I instantly loved the idea of calling Nik Stauskas "Sauce Castillo."

There haven't been very many positive experiences in this rookie season for Stauskas, whom the Sacramento Kings selected out of Michigan with the eighth pick in the 2014 NBA draft to provide an instant jolt of 3-point shooting and playmaking to their largely punchless backcourt, only to see him struggle mightily with his shot and confidence as the team has cycled through coaches, philosophies and rotations in a "circus" of a campaign. Talking about Stauskas hasn't been much fun since the season started. Sauce Castillo could change all that.

I felt like it was important to do what I could to make that happen.

As luck would have it, the closed-captioning gods were with us again during the Kings' Wednesday night win over the Phoenix Suns:

After a second straight night of Sauciness, Castillo chatter picked up. Kings fans, as is their wont, got pretty into the new nickname:

And local media began deploying the new moniker:

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... as did the Kings' radio play-by-play man and in-arena announcer:

... and, in a final show of acceptance, so did the Kings' official Twitter account:

This pleases me.

What remains unclear, though, is whether it pleases Stauskas.

Ultimately, though, that doesn't even really matter. If everyone else is on-board, Stauskas will remain Sauce.

This is a good thing, Nik Stauskas. It might even be the best thing that's happened to you as a pro. Embrace it. Steer into the skid. Drink deeply of the Sauce. It'll set you free.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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