It wasn’t that long ago that DeJuan Blair was another Spurs success story — everybody passed on the Pitt star in the draft because he had no ACLs left, so the Spurs grabbed him the second round.
And he can play — he started 62 games in San Antonio last season, gave them an efficent 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game with a PER abouve the league average at 17.6. He was invited to be part of the USA Select team (which trained against the NBA stars headed to London). He’s not the most athletic guy but he’s got that old-man at the YMCA game that just works. Everybody wanted a player like him.
But in the playoffs he fell out of favor as he does every year — he was down to less than 8 minutes a game last year — and now the forward in the last year of his rookie deal is being shopped around.
Blair told the Post-Gazette he doesn’t want to leave San Antonio but he understands it’s not in his control.
“My game is a lot more mature compared to a lot of younger guys because of the team I’m on,” Blair said on the sideline of the DeJuan Blair Youth Basketball Camp at Aquinas Academy in Hampton. “They never let me mess up or make mistakes. It’s been a great experience. I would love to spend the rest of my career there, but like I keep saying, it’s a business….
“Hopefully, I stay a Spur, but if it doesn’t happen, life moves on,” Blair said. “They’ve got me on the trade market and they’ll do the best to get me in the greatest situation possible.”
Blair is the kind of guy who could be moved once it gets to training camp and other team suffers an injury along the front line (or someone isn’t working out as expected). Expect him to get moved. And expect him to play pretty well wherever he lands.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.