Is it possible to make a new first impression?
Much of the optimism that San Antonio fans are carrying into media day that precedes the opening of training camp surrounds Brazilian big man Tiago Splitter, the 2007 first-round Draft pick who has finally arrived in the Alamo City.
But it is last year’s new face who could give the Spurs a real kick-start this season. That’s Richard Jefferson, who struggled through his first season with the team, then opted out of $15 million on the last year of his contract and eventually signed a new four-year, $38.8 million deal.
Opting out, he told the San Antonio Express-News, was never about leaving San Antonio.
“I really enjoyed my first year here,” Jefferson said. “Obviously, you risk going into a different situation, but I was optimistic things would work out in a positive way and I would stay here.
“If you look at it from an intelligent perspective, last year I didn’t have as much success as you’d like, but we won 50 games and got to the second round of the playoffs,” he said. “In San Antonio, that’s not good enough, but all the travails I went through last year will make me better this year.”