Nik Stauskas introduced himself to Portland Trail Blazers fans in a big way last night. The fifth-year guard was electric off the bench, tying a career high with 24 points while shooting 5-8 from three. His contribution helped spoil LeBron James’ Laker debut—perhaps TNT should have been hyping Stauskas’ Blazer inaugural appearance? His electric outing had two different names trending on Twitter: “Nik Stauskas” and “Sauce Castillo”.
You might not have heard the name Sauce Castillo. No one was referring to Stauskas by that name when he was playing in the NCAA Championship Game with Michigan, nor when he entered the NBA. Stauskas’ career has been unremarkable. He’s averaged 7.1 points in 21.2 minutes per game while playing for losing teams since being drafted eighth overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2014 NBA Draft. That doesn’t really merit a nickname.
He got one by accident nevertheless. The moment came in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers in late March during his rookie season. As Stauskas hit a pull-up three in the second quarter, the play-by-play call rang out, “Stauskas, hitting the three”. Closed-captioning had other ideas, rendering the immortal words: “Sauce Castillo hit the three.”
A Twitter user noted it, and the avalanche ensued:
My closed captioning just referred to Nik Stauskas as "Sauce Castillo" and I will never be able to not call him this again— Andrew Unterberger (@AUgetoffmygold) March 25, 2015
As “Sauce Castsillo” gained traction on Twitter, the Kings endorsed it by putting video of the closed captioning mistake up on their site. You can still view the critical moment here.
Stauskas, himself, was surprised, but eventually embraced the unique nickname:
Wait what does "Sauce Castillo" mean? Since when was that my nickname lol!!— Nik Stauskas (@NStauskas11) March 26, 2015
Lol this Sauce Castillo thing escalated way too quickly!!!— Nik Stauskas (@NStauskas11) March 26, 2015
Hopefully Blazer fans will be able to enjoy more performances like Stauskas’ last night’s. If he continues this production, maybe when his jersey comes available in the Trail Blazers team store, they can include one with Castillo on the back.