Since joining the Dallas Mavericks, former San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair hasn't shied away from making his feeling known about his former club.
He stated the Spurs might have won their fifth title had the team played him a lot more in last season's NBA Finals and has made it clear he has circled in his calendar the first time he faces San Antonio.
Well, you can add another reason for DeJuan to have a chip on his shoulder when it comes to the team that drafted him in 2009.
When asked by Eddie Sefko of DallasNews.com as to what happened during his time with the Spurs, Blair states he feels the Spurs stopped believing in him and has no idea why head coach Gregg Popovich stopped giving him minutes.
“I don’t know,” Blair said. “Pop stopped [playing] me. I couldn’t tell you what was going through that man’s head at all. Nobody knows but him.”
“I had to leave and come here where I think they’ll give me confidence and believe in me,” he said. “I didn’t think they believed in me in San Antonio, so that’s pretty good here. I feel supported. That’s how it is.”
There are many reason one can point to and speculate as to why Blair fell out of the rotation (and perhaps favor) of the San Antonio coaching staff.
There was the emergence of Tiago Splitter who simply is bigger and taller than Blair, his struggles maintaining his weight early in his NBA career, and of course the numerous times he complained publicly about the lack of playing time.
That simply doesn't fly with the Spurs and Popovich if those are reason for Blair's slippage in playing time.
With Dallas, he will definitely get time on the court and will make the upcoming games between the Spurs and Mavericks interesting to watch and see if, as Mavs owner Mark Cuban put it, Blair will punish the Spurs.
Speaking of Cuban, he certainly likes the addition of DeJuan and refers to him as a "beast."
“DeJuan, I think he’s a beast, and he put us on our backs a few times and had no problems dunking on us [when with the Spurs],” Cuban said. “And I think he’s ready to turn that around and send it in the other direction. So yeah, I think DeJuan will help us.”
Thoughts Spurs fans? Do you agree that the Spurs stopped believing in DeJuan?