During Game 2 of the first-round Western Conference Playoffs series between the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs last night, TNT announcer Dick Stockton fell victim to a little slip of the tongue, calling reserve Spurs forward DeJuan Blair(notes) "DeJuan Bear." He quickly corrected himself. Perhaps too quickly, in fact.
Pop quiz, hotshot: What do you know about bears? Love of honey, for one thing. Fearsome roars, ability to snatch salmon with the quickness and super-cuteness with cubs, too. Classified as caniforms (a.k.a. doglike carnivorans) whose closest living relatives are pinnipeds? Obviously.
(NOTE: If you said "predilection toward picnic baskets," c'mon, dude. That is a hateful anti-bear myth, the stuff of cartoon liars and theme-park charlatans. Free your mind.)
Now, double pop quiz: What do you know about DeJuan Blair? Well, he's now listed at 265 lbs. and played up around 290 (at least) at Pittsburgh, so it's a decent bet he doesn't mind the sweets. He can definitely get his roar on. He's been a rebounding machine since his college days, always putting himself in the right position to quickly snap up available caroms. There are 13,400 Yahoo! hits for dejuan blair cute. (Not sure about his caniformity or pinniped-relativity. Will update if new information arises.)
Plus, in San Antonio's series-evening 102-88 Game 2 victory over Dallas, Blair had a quiet night -- 0 points (on 0-4 from the field) and 4 rebounds in 11 minutes. Simple explanation: Rookie early-playoff hibernation. Classic NBA/National Geographic stuff, really. And since we've seen this season what kind of havoc Blair can wreak when he's awake, Mavericks owner and inveterate hater Mark Cuban had better hope his boys let a sleeping possible-doglike-carnivoran lie.
So, as you can see, Stockton's mistake was actually quite revelatory. DeJuan Blair is totally a bear, and we should probably all agree to call him "DeJuan Bear." Or "My Pet Monster." Or "The Fresh Prince of DeJuan Bear." But one of those.