Found July 15, 2013 on
Marco Belinelli hasn't played a single minute in a San Antonio Spurs uniform, but he's already been signing praises of the organization since agreeing to a two-year, $6 million contract -- a generous amount, given the demand for his services.
"I'm really happy to have signed with San Antonio," Belinelli told Yahoo! Sports Italia. "They're an important team, with a great organization, and I get the chance to play with great companions. For me it is a pleasure and an honor to wear this jersey and I know that I will have to work hard to deserve minutes."
Belinelli, 27, has only played on two playoff teams -- the 2010-11 New Orleans Hornets and 2012-13 Chicago Bulls. San Antonio, meanwhile, won more than twice as many playoff games during last year's postseason run (15) than Belinelli during his first seven seasons (7). Even though many people doubt the Spurs, and openly question whether their aging core can even physically sustain another arduous NBA season, Belinelli asserted that the Spurs are still title contenders.
"Yes, we are (title contenders)," Belinelli said. "The team is very strong and overall we are very tough. We have great enthusiasm and desire for revenge after losing the Finals this year, and especially phenomenal players like Duncan, Parker and Ginobili."
Under Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, Belinelli fufilled the normal duties of a secondary ball handler -- being a competent safety valve in case the primary action is stymied, slashing to the rim, and occasionally orchestrating the offense through the pick-and-roll. Belinelli was a valuable shot creator on a team that often struggled to manufacture points.
The problem, he admits, comes on defense, where his poor focus hampered the team; Chicago's fifth-ranked defense, allowing 100.3 points per 100 possessions last season, was 3.4 points more efficient when Belinelli took a seat, per NBA.com. Belinelli also conceded that his left-hand needs some work, since being an ambidextrous ball handler puts an added strain on the defense -- the primary defender can't simply beat the player to a spot and expect them to hoist a difficult shot.
"I'm aware that I have to work and improve myself on many aspects," Belinelli said. "I am 27 years old and I'm still not a complete player: I should care for so many things on defense, without neglecting the shot and the development of the left hand."
Belinelli has the ideal mentor, though. Ginobili is a crafty scorer, with a similar frame, and he's excited to learn the subtle idiosyncrasies of the position from the 12-year veteran.Â
"It's beautiful," Belinelli said. "I played with Manu in Bologna when I was 16, as I was (making) my first steps as a professional, and he was already an extraordinary player from whom I learned a lot. Having him on my side will be important, because I'm sure I will have the chance to learn even more things."
BEST OF MAXIM
Deshaun Thomas had one of the most intriguing Summer League games for San Antonio Spurs players in recent memory. Â
He finished with 18 points on 7-13 shooting from the field in his first game. His ability to score the basketball is what jumped out across to many people who were watching Thomas for the first time. For those who were familiar with Thomas, this was no surprise...
The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to a two-year contract with forward Jeff Pendergraph.
Pendergraph made the announcement on Tuesday before a workout at Arizona State, his alma mater.
The 6-foot-9 Pendergraph spent the past two seasons at Indiana, mostly in a reserve role. He averaged 3.9 points and 2.8 rebounds per game last season with the Pacers, who reached the Eastern Conference...
LAS VEGAS -- Summer League is for three things: Improving your game, competing for a roster spot or experimenting wit someone's game. For example, Cory Joseph is working on improving his game, particularly the floor leading aspect.Â Everyone not named Joseph, Aron Baynes and Nando De Colo are competing for a roster spot, be it with the Spurs or another team as there are coaches...
According to French site Sports 24.com and several other outlets, forward Livio Jean-Charles, drafted with the 28th pick in this year's NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs, injured his knee in a victory against the Czech Republic. He was averaging 17.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game prior to the injury with France's under-20 national team. The severity of the injury is still...
Before the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Atlanta Hawks in their third Summer League game on Monday evening in Las Vegas, Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford joined the NBATV commentators in the third quarter to answer a few questions regarding the Spurs and in one question, discussed Deshaun Thomas, the Spurs' 58th pick who would go on to score 17 points in the game.
It was perhaps one of San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker's best seasons since joining the team. The 12-year pro averaged 20 points, 7.6 assists, 3 rebounds, and shot 52% from the field last season. It was enough for him to garner NBA MVP mentions before going down with an ankle injury during the regular season.
And though Parker and the Spurs came up short in the NBA Finals...
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo sports is reporting that the Wizards have interest in San Antonio Spurs free agent power forward DeJuan Blair. The Wizards have no cap room to work with, so if they make any moves it will have to be a sign-and-trade as Wojnarowski reports.Â The Wizards could look to trade any of their backup forwards in Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker and Kevin...
It seems San Antonio Spurs foreign players stashed overseas are getting hit hard with the injury bug which is causing them to go under the knife.
Davis Bertans suffered a torn right knee ACL and is recovering nicely, Spurs 2013 NBA Draft pick Livio Jean-Charles recently suffered a knee inujury and now add Adam Hanga to the list.
According to ACB.com, Hanga had arthroscopic...
When the San Antonio Spurs drafted David Robinson with the No. 1 pick in the 1987 NBA Draft, they weren't exactly a "model" franchise.
San Antonio won just 28 games during the 1986-87 season -- only the New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers won fewer contests -- but they also didn't adhere to any particular code of ethics. Robinson...
LAS VEGAS -- Normally, Summer League is a little man's game.Â Point guards often times are MVP when the 10 day circuit is over and these days the teams aren't even using two traditional big men at the same time.Â The Spurs-Raptors game featured Jonas Valanciunas, the fifth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.Â Valanciunas is probably the biggest guy at Summer League one of the...
LAS VEGAS -- After one so-so game and one bad game, Nando De Colo broke out, helping guide the San Antonio Spurs to a 96-87 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, Monday night.Â De Colo and Aron Baynes each had 19 points to lead a very balanced scoring attack which saw four Spurs in double figures.
De Colo came out aggressive as his eight first quarter points kept the Spurs from falling...
LAS VEGAS -- The San Antonio Spurs fell to the Toronto Raptors Sunday night, 82-76.Â It may not sound like a big deal, because it's one loss after all, it's only Summer League.Â And while "it's only Summer League" is a well used phrase when grading the merits of a certain player, that phrase doesn't apply to the attitude players and coaches have when it...
USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo announced today San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will not participate in the USA Men's Basketball mini-camp set to start next week in Las Vegas as Leonard is continuing to rehab after a long season.
In his final media session of the season, Spurs head coach Gregg PopovichÂ said he, Leonard, and the team doctors would need to...
The San Antonio Spurs beat the Atlanta Hawks by a final score of 96-87 in Summer League play on Monday.
Nando De Colo had 19 points and eight assists to lead the Spurs, while Aron Baynes had 19 points and 15 rebounds.
Mike Scott had 27 points and seven rebounds for the Hawks.
For days speculation over the destination of Andrei Kirilenko had San Antonio Spurs fans buzzing about the endless possibilities he could bring. A team that was literally seconds away from a championship could bolster their squad by adding the NBA's version of a Swiss-army knife. Kirilenko can guard multiple positions and has the ability to fill in any gaps your team may have...