Word on the Street

Hombre (hahm’-bray’) noun. A seriously tough dude.

Usage example:Man, Charles Oakley was a real hombre back in the day.”

Word history: This term has been popping up in an increasing number of NBA telecasts over the course of the season, but I finally decided to make it an official Word on the Street on Friday when 1. Bill Simmons specifically mentioned it in his NBA mailbag and 2. Hubie Brown said “There are a bunch of tough hombres out there tonight” during the Spurs/Jazz game.

The original hombre.

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Here’s how The Sports Guys described it: “I like the word ‘hombre’ as an NBA word that means the opposite of wuss. If you’re an hombre, that means you’re not allowing anyone to push you around; you’ll stand up for your teammates when they get knocked into the basket support; you play bigger than your size; and you have the balls to take and make big shots in big moments.”

The only part of that description I disagree with is the “you play bigger than your size” part. I mean, I would classify Oakley as an hombre, and he was a pretty big dude. Still, I think “hombre” is the new best term for NBA tough guys.

Update: I received the following fan-freaking-tastic Photoshop from Silent Assassin reader Stefan, who said: “I’m personally looking forward to the day when we can use other spanish words to describe players, like, ‘Kobe is such a puta!’ or, ‘They’re going to have to stop playing like a bunch of coños out there if they stand a chance in the 2nd half.'” So am I, Stefan. So am I.

Back in the days, Charles Oakley was a mean motherscooter. (thanx to Stefan for the pic.)

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Labels: Charles Oakley / Kobe Bryant / Hubie Brown / Utah Jazz / San Antonio Spurs / NBA / Word on the Street

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