Trash-talk was a constant for the Los Angeles Lakers as they raced towards their 17th championship in 2020. In the Western Conference Finals, Dwight Howard led the way by shouting “Batman’s coming for you!” at Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, nicknamed the Joker. That trend continued in the NBA Finals, but with a very different target — and reference.
Duncan Robinson only has one full NBA season under his belt and hasn’t earned a nickname yet. The Lakers had to adjust and come up with their own. As the Miami Heat forward revealed on the Titus & Tate Podcast, his Finals opponents settled on a Nickelodeon theme. Robinson was called both Jimmy Neutron and Sheen, a character from the early-2000s show “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius.”
“I’m OK with it,” Robinson said. “This is my only problem with that is that I get Jimmy Neutron as well … I can’t be both, like that doesn’t even make sense. How can I be two characters from the same show? During the Finals, the Lakers bench was yelling Jimmy Neutron at me, so I don’t understand how I can be Sheen and also Jimmy Neutron.”
Sheen is probably the more accurate of the two. Jimmy Neutron has enormous hair, whereas Robinson’s trends closer to Sheen’s shorter cut. The comparison even goes back to his college days, though it never made it national.
The real question here is who the mastermind behind this nickname would have been. Howard is the obvious favorite, but he was 16-years-old when the original Jimmy Neutron movie premiered and was in the NBA for most of the show’s run. He may still have watched it, but some younger players who grew up with the show probably make more sense. It certainly seems like Kyle Kuzma’s sense of humor.
If nothing else, this should help Robinson’s branding efforts. Now he can claim Jimmy Neutron as a nickname. It makes a player still relatively new to the NBA more identifiable, even if the comparison isn’t particularly flattering.