DeJuan Blair

Judge rules DeJuan Blair must pay $53K to jeweler, Spurs ‘uncooperative’ in lawsuit


It’s always a little strange to see a professional athlete sued by a business for some amount of money that is small in relation to that player’s salary.

It’s even stranger when that athlete plays for the San Antonio Spurs, a franchise that has a reputation of employing players that typically stay away from this kind of trouble.

A judge ruled that DeJuan Blair must pay over $53,000 to a jewelry store that gave him merchandise on credit more than three years ago, according to a report in the San Antonio Express-News.

Blair hasn’t responded at all, and is scheduled to be deposed next week. If he fails to show up at that point, a warrant could be issued for his arrest.

The items Blair was alleged to receive are as follows:

The store owner said in an affidavit that Blair failed to pay for various items he chose during eight visits between March 10, 2010, and April 10, 2010. One visit topped $11,000 and included a $4,000 diamond watch and $3,000 diamond ring, according to the receipts filed with the lawsuit.

On another visit, Blair picked out more than $12,000 worth of merchandise, including what may be a watch but was only described as a “men’s Gucci with Dia” for $5,946, according to the documents. In all, he owes a total of $53,032.26.

The story gets even weirder.

In addition to Blair being non-responsive, the Spurs organization has been subpoenaed, and hasn’t provided all of the requested documentation.

Cappuccio said the Spurs organization also was served with a subpoena in the case and has not turned over all the responsive documents.

He said that what documents the organization did provide showed Blair appeared to use the jewelry as collateral on a $30,000 loan the Spurs organization gave him.

Cappuccio called the Spurs “uncooperative.” He said the firm is prepared to go to a judge to compel them to hand over documents.

The “$30,000 loan part” seems unnecessary, though it’s unclear if this is a common practice in NBA circles; for example, it could have been an advance on pay which is guaranteed contractually, which seems perfectly reasonable.

Whatever the reason for the legal action, here’s hoping it gets resolved soon. It’s embarrassing for Blair and the Spurs that it’s gotten this far through the legal process with neither player nor team bothering to respond.

Stan Van Gundy rips ‘selfish’ Pistons

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The Pistons had just 19 assists – to 22 turnovers – in their 93-83 loss to the Nets last night.

Stan Van Gundy was none too pleased.

On offensive problems:

I told them in there – that was the first thing – we’re not playing together at all. I thought it was a very selfish performance, and guys wouldn’t just pass the ball to open men. They wanted to see if they could take one more dribble to get their own shot, so the passing angles were gone. I just thought we forced play after play after play. We’re not willing to move the ball

On Reggie Jackson, who scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting with six assists and six turnovers, and was coming off Achilles soreness:

He was not good at all. He was forcing everything.

On injuries to point guards – Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Steve Blake – hindering the team’s flow in practice and that carrying over to the game:

We could probably make a lot of excuses for our guys, but we were selfish.

Van Gundy is clearly trying to send a message, and the preseason is the best time to do it.

But it’s somewhat troubling he had to do it after this game.

Eight of the 10 Pistons who played against Brooklyn project to make the regular-season rotation. Joel Anthony played over Aron Baynes, and once healthy, Blake could challenge Spencer Dinwiddie to become back up point guard – at least until Jennings is ready. Otherwise, Detroit – with Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova, Andre Drummond, Jodie Meeks, Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver – looked similar to its opening-night lineup.

Van Gundy is blunt, but he doesn’t tell the media things he hasn’t already directly told his players. They appreciate that.

He’d appreciate them getting this message.

Report: Dwight Howard didn’t have offseason surgery

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard said he played with a torn MCL and meniscus in the Western Conference finals – pretty shocking news that few knew what to make of.

So, um, did he have offseason surgery?

Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

Howard obviously feels great about his health now, so maybe this was the right course.

We’ll never how Howard would have performed if fully healthy, but he averaged 14.4 points and 14.4 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game against the Warriors during the conference finals. How bad could the injuries have been?