Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 7/15/13
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.    "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."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker