Found November 22, 2011 on Project Spurs:

The lockout has to be a trying time for NBA players to remain in shape.

Some have made the move to play overseas for the duration of the lockout to remain in shape and some have participated in their fair share of exhibition games to get some type of in-game conditioning that hours of gym time can't recreate.

San Antonio Spurs' Tiago Splitter made the jump to Spain to play with Valencia Basket and did pretty well in his debut recording a double-double. But as Splitter said, one of the reasons he made the decision to join Valencia was to get quality time on the court, something training with his Spurs teammates during the lockout cannot duplicate.

Splitter said that during these months he has trained in San Antonio with other Spurs players, he also acknowledged that "it is not the same as playing because the pace of competition is achieved only playing."

But seeing how the last time he played organized basketball was with the Brazilian national team for the 2011 FIBA Americas tournament, Splitter admitted he needs time to get back into condition.

"I am not one hundred percent yet but I hope to get there soon," he said.

However, one thing is sure, Splitter is happy to return to Spain where he played in his early days as a professional basketball player and join Valencia despite possibly upsetting his former team Baskonia.

"I am very happy to return to Spain at a big club like Valencia. I wanted to play and this club has given me this opportunity. The only thing I can promise is to strive every day to help the team improve and win. I will give everything for this jersey, "he said.

The San Antonio Spurs player acknowledged that he is aware that many people in Vitoria, where he played six seasons with Baskonia, "is not happy with this decision." "But I have great affection for Baskonia and its people, I spent much time there and I have much to thank them," he said.

And now he will be logging major minutes with Valencia, Splitter did remark he would have liked more time on the court during his rookie season with the Spurs.

"It was very good, it was always my dream to play in the NBA among the best in the world. I enjoyed it a lot, but it is clear that I wanted to play a little more," he said.

Well Splitter, perhaps the first thing you should do is stay injury-free. His rookie season was marred by injuries, especially the calf injury he suffered in training camp which set back his adjustment into the NBA.

Hopefully Splitter plays well enough to be ready for the Spurs training camp and impress Gregg Popovich and the rest of the Spurs coaching staff to earn that extra time on the court.

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