Los Muchos Nombres de Senor Marc Gasol Sáez

Jamie Squire

or, the many names of Mr. Marc Gasol

At this point, Marc Gasol has accumulated enough nicknames for himself that the task of referring to the Grizzly center at any given point is a multi-step process which requires a quick check of Twitter to see the go-to name of the day and a Spanish-to-English dictionary.

Have you been having difficulty keeping up with the Gasol nickname mania? Here is a guide on the more popular names, and suggestions to the appropriate context in which they should be used.

Level 1 Nicknames

Level 1 nicknames are for use in casual conversation, or references to Marc Gasol outside of a game-time context. English translations usually suffice.

"The Big Burrito"

Obviously, this is a name which is only to be used in the most off-handed manner, and in a highly affectionate way. Given to Marc as a young man at Lausanne, this name reflects a time in his life when the animal spirit we see today was not yet fully developed. Examples of accepted use of this nickname would be something like, "I wonder if those kids who called Marc 'Big Burrito' are still alive today," or "Man, I'm craving a burrito right now. Preferably a big one. Marc Gasol could probably kill me with his beard."

"Big Spain"

This nickname has been popular for quite some time now, and serves a versatile tool in the Grizzly lexicon for either referring to Gasol in conversation: "Man, Big Spain played a heck of a game last night," or even for routine basketball plays that Marc might make on the court: "And Big Spain with the great dish there to Tony." Also, this particular nickname can be utilized sporadically for ejaculatory statements which signify a mildly significant happening: "...shot clock winding down, ball passed to Gasol at the elbow, and BIG SPAIN knocks down the 18 footer with 2 seconds left."

Level 2 Nicknames

Level 2 Nicknames are to be used in a strictly in-game context and with healthy dose of awe. English translations might work but feel free to transition to Spanish at this point.

"El Oso de Loco"

The Crazy Bear. If you feel this name needs explanation, just watch the Big Man's eyes after making a big basket or swatting a ball. Use your DVR to pause the TV screen, and then imagine that face in an Alaskan wilderness setting with salmon jumping and rival bears trying to pick a fight. El Oso de Loco.

"Defensive Player of the Year"

This is a rather recent nickname given to Marc, not by us Grizzly fans, but by the members of the NBA national media. Appropriate usages of this nickname can entail pretty much any offensive possession of the opposing team when Marc is on the floor, and can sound something like: "Oh yeah, Blake, let's see those post moves. That's the Defensive Player of the Year you are working on." Or, "Durant just tried to shoot over the Defensive Player of the Year, and almost swallowed the ball when the Defensive Player of the Year sent it right back in his muzzle."

"Hermano menor"/ "little brother"

In years past, whenever Marc was referred to as "the little brother," it was to incur the laughter of the NBA world onto the Grizzlies organization. Now, when someone uses Marc and Pau's names in the same sentence it's usually in reference to something Marc did on the court that would give Pau nightmares for a couple of weeks. Beware, we are getting into dangerous territory here. Use this nickname cautiously, and only if you are solidified in your Grizzly-fandom. Be sure that it is clear that when using "little brother" phrases you convey a clear sense of sarcasm which indicates you fully understand the absurdity in thinking that Pau could even hold Marc's jock-strap. ESPN analysts should never use this phrase ever when referring to Marc.

Level 3

Level 3 is reserved for peak moments of awe-inspired conversation which has been stimulated by Marc Gasol. Blasphemous or casual use may result in Spanish fever, permanent Kendrick Perkins face, or death.

"Wendigo"

No, someone who I will not name, a Wendigo is not a RV. Let me tell you what a Wendigo is. A Wendigo is a monster that could inhabit humans and cause them to eat people's faces off. Any other questions?

Look, in all seriousness, I would strongly advise you to only use this term in reference to Marc after he has hit a dagger "jump" shot, blocked a game winning basket, or permanently altered the genetical structure of whoever is guarding him at the time. If used in spoken conversation, this term should be screamed at least 5 times the average volume of any surrounding noise. If written, as in a Tweet, the word should be written in all caps and followed by no less than 3 exclamation points. Again, I caution, use wisely.

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