Blair Comes Cheap, Motivated





HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – A lot of money is being thrown at free agent big men this summer.

Kevin Garnett is getting $34 million more from the Celtics. Roy Hibbert is getting a max deal from either the Blazers or Pacers. Omer Asik will be getting $25 million from the Rockets or Bulls. Ersan Ilyasova is getting $45 million from the Bucks. Ryan Anderson is getting about $35 million from the Hornets. And now it sounds like Brook Lopez is getting a max deal, whether he plays for the Nets or Magic next season.

So what would you say about the idea of paying $1.1 million for a big man who played almost 1,400 minutes for the best team in the league last season?

DeJuan Blair was a feel-good story for the San Antonio Spurs. He was taken 37th in the 2009 Draft and quickly became a contributor for a title contender, despite his lack of ACLs.

But Blair was replaced in the Spurs’ rotation by Boris Diaw late last season, and he played just 77 minutes in the playoffs. Then, there were reports that the Spurs might bring over Slovenian big man Erazem Lorbek next season, possibly pushing Blair further down the depth chart.

Lorbek looks to be re-signing with FC Barcelona, but Blair still thinks his days in San Antonio are numbered.

Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News caught up with Blair in Las Vegas, where the big man is putting in work for the U.S. Select Team:

Blair makes no attempt to hide his feelings when he discusses his diminished role in the playoffs, including his belief he might be better off elsewhere.

“I love the Spurs, but they’ve got a lot of ‘bigs,’ and they’re bringing somebody else from overseas, so where am I going to fall at?” he said. “I was out of the rotation at the end of the season, so imagine next year.

“That’s something I really don’t want to go through again, because it tore me down.”

Blair turned 23 as the post-lockout season concluded in late April. What has happened since requires maturity.

“The Spurs are excellent,” he said. “They used me to get everybody going and just get to the playoffs. That’s what it’s seemed like the last two seasons. But it’s a business, and everybody has their role, and I played mine, obviously, in the season. That’s proved right now.

“We were No. 1 the last two seasons when I was starting, and then lost in the playoffs when I wasn’t. That’s just, well, I don’t know, common sense.

“But I’ll be all right.”

Given Lorbek’s decision to stay in Europe and Diaw’s inconsistency, it might behoove the Spurs to hold onto Blair. And it’s hard to imagine they’ll get back equal value for a guy who’s slated to make less than $1.1 million next season.

But if the Spurs plan on bringing back the big man, it’s clear they’ll have some work to do in trying to repair his psyche.

69 Comments

  1. Brandon Roy says:

    Really hope that once he has taken another year off in recovery the Spurs can try pick up Greg Oden as a risk reward signing….

  2. davidheatle says:

    now haters dont have excuses the nets are trying to biulding a super team..but i know the point here is about blair..yeah blair is a strong player..he dont need more size,he play tough to rebound in the paint and may help any team.barkley is one of the best power forwards in nba history and he just was 6-6′ …i like blair.just give more time to him to get better from his injury and get more experience.

  3. davidheatle says:

    some lakers fans say the nba is boring now watching the heat win the championship..how the lakers haters felt since 2000 just watching the lakers..same boring thing thing after jordan retired..now we got a reason to like the nba cuz the heat is the new face since the old bulls..something new..thats why theres a lot of bandwagon fans like the heat haters say cuz miami is atractive team with these holywood stars..it means miami got haters but got fans around the world too..the original bulls had bandwagon fans around the world cuz they were so popular..am a miami fans since wade came to miami 9 years ago..and am and nba fan since jordan first championship.

  4. burshiki says:

    i agree with cedric, you dont need a dunk, a highlights or even a superstars to win. all you need is just TEAMWORK and that what i have seen with spurs.

  5. Matt says:

    So Blair is basically saying the reason they lost this year is because of him. That’s laughable. I guess the Thunder had nothing to do with it. Did he forget that swept their earlier playoff series.

  6. Detroit says:

    Not really common sense..we did we start counting wins as individual stats>..love competes every night he’s not surrounded with a great supporting cast….what makes Griffina winner now bc CP3 decided to go there he hasen’t won much either and if he can’t dunk he’s offesnively flat….yea its a business but kevin love is clearly the best power forward in the game….and why shud we concern ourselves with the selling tickets aspect we are just fans we only care abt talent..

  7. Cedric says:

    To SHINK213 if you know baketball you would not say anything. A dunk does not mean you will win a championship. Learn the game of basketball and then you can talk.You don’t need a whole lot of superstar or dunkers to win. Ask any team in the NBA who do they hate playing against the most and who gives then fits. Go Spurs Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111

  8. JIMMYBEAR says:

    HEAT get in, he would fit perfect

  9. Dr says:

    Lota people forget it’s a business, why all the mushy feelings, look hype sells and that is why certain players get big bucks. Blair is a excellent player who got messed over in the playoffs. I think Pop lost it for a stretch and saw Diaw for what Parker pressed him to see, it was his friend. That was a bad move and killed them in the round against the thunder who proved to be “they are who we thought they were”. Blair had been a thunder killer and the spurs overlooked that. He probably should leave with the moves they are about to make. Good luck to him, He will help some team no doubt

  10. jewell rollen, jr says:

    THE STEAL OF THE DRAFT!!!!! ANY TEAM SHOULD BE HAPPY TO HAVE BLAIR!!!!

  11. CJ says:

    I wonder if the Heat Fans know that their are only 12 Spots for active players on a roster. So I am asking myself how many players do they want? Everytime I read an article in the hangtime blog about a player the third comment is “Take your talents to South Beach”. You do know about something called Salary Cap right?
    For the sake of Blair I hope he will stay in San Anton and they´ll get another chance for a ring. I was never a big fan of the Spurs. But you have to admire how they are able to manage to put together a great team every single year. With good additions and excellent coaching. I love the game of Blair. Reminds me of a younger Ben Wallace.

  12. shink213 says:

    if you wanna watch an extremely boring game of bball, turn on a spurs games….yes, they might have the number 1 record in the NBA but they are one of the worst teams to watch when it comes to the excitement factor. No dunks at all, duncan is shooting bank shots, and everyone else just sits in the corner and shoots 3’s while parker facilitates.

    • Ifyoujustplayball says:

      …..just another so-called basketball fan that thinks it is ALL about dunks…..blow that ‘boring team’ out your ear man……. 25 nba teams would be happy as h*ll to be that “boring”…… just watch street ball !!!

  13. Joey says:

    Blair to Miami, that will help Bosh at center and rebounding category.

  14. tide23 says:

    how about blaming injuries. avery bradley,jamaine o’neal,chris wilcox, jeff green,allen’s ankle

  15. Mathew says:

    He was playing great lol. Funny how he lost his mins during the end of the season and playoffs.

  16. ray says:

    im a spurs fan all the way but pop always messes with these young talented guys we get and force em to leave and play pretty well in there next stop. ie. beno udrih, turkoglu, devin brown, antonio daniels, john salmons, raja bell, leandro barbosa, and we even drafted goran dragic and luis scola. I just dont understand why everyone thinks we would even considering letting this guy go when our first big off the bench (matt Bonner) is by far our worst player. Tell me how can someone be 6-10 and average less than 3 rebounds a game and less than a block every handful of games but yet average over 20 plus minutes a game and not to mention we’re talking about a guy who has disappeared 5 straight years in the playoffs? So before anyone even thinks about blaming blair they really need to watch these games and see how inconsistant matt bonner is and OH YEAH BONNER is making over 3 million a year just to make the occasional 3 and for someone who will disappear come playoff time. GIve me Blair over Bonner any day

  17. JNO says:

    hey blame your team for not winning. dont make excuses

  18. Tret says:

    I agree with him as a heat member because his especialty is to clean those misses and play pick and roll then Bosh gets some space on the mid.
    Blair is a good ground defender;Bosh,Lebron and Wade can block shots.
    As well as the Celtics alongside Kevin Garnett.
    But teams that really really need his presence that are playoff runners are Sixers and Bucks.
    In Sixers,he can be a PF or Hawes can be a PF because Hawes really has a PF abilities.
    Blair can run up and down on the court,clean and dirty (Cleaning misses and play dirty defense like hustle plays).
    Blair can post up,Hawes can shoot Jumpshots.
    A perfect match to a front court.
    Even in the Bucks if he teams up with Drew Gooden.

    On other Teams,likely to go Portland,Houston,Dallas and Washington.

  19. bel says:

    i love blair. he fills the void left by malik rose.

  20. Tygger2K6 says:

    Leave the Spurs!!! Go to a team that will use your talents and appreciate you. Take your talents to South Beach!!!

  21. Bob says:

    DeJuan is a brilliant post player. Diaw can do more for the team, and that isn’t a slight. Duncan needs someone that can protect the rim a little better. Blair is a player. He does small things and knows how to win. He makes his team better when he is on the floor. But, going against Bynum/ Gasol or Perkins/Ibaka is a mismatch for him. He would be a good for a team like the Heat, Celtics, Nets, or Chicago, veteran teams that needs rebounding and solid post play. I loved his game since Pittsburgh, he’s a player, but is too short for full time starting center. Really, I see him as a Heat style player

  22. Tret says:

    D. Blair was always been good on regular seaon.
    Grabbing rebounds,cleaning misses and defending.
    But when it comes to playoffs,he is not doing one of it.
    I think coach popovich figure this out.
    That’s why Spurs management are trying to hire some bigs because simply Blair can’t get his job done when it comes to playoffs.
    That’s what he has to get mature and be consistent.
    I was a huge Blair fan and i follow what he does.
    Now,i think he has to ship to another team which are not much of a title contenders but playoff teams.
    Coach has to give him an opportunity to play much in the playoffs so that he can mature on those areas.

  23. LakerSpursFan says:

    Blair is totally right when he points out that the Spurs struggled in the Playoffs when he wasn’t starting. Without Blair the only real post presence is Duncan, no discredit to Duncan he’s a great player but we need more height and Diaw hardly ever (if ever at all) works in the post. During the OKC series the Spurs were struggling, when Blair got some minutes he basically went on a 10-0 run by himself.. What I would do: Get rid of Diaw and but back Balir.

  24. bruno says:

    most of you are plain ridicolous considering the ring won by miami to be the refs ring or a shortened season whatever, i’m a NBA fan no matter the team but you guys just have to find excuses everywhere..seems like professional football in europe, it’s all about the refs refs refs.. change the tune guys and well if this keeps on going find another excuse for this years winner but think deeper way way deeper…to the underground!

  25. spurs fan says:

    sad to say but leaving blair is a good for the spurs and dejuan also..spurs need a real bigman like 7 foot to help duncan defend the paint that is the spur lack on thunders series…i like blair but i dont want to see blair just sitting on the bench nothing he can do..he should play to another team that his talent is what there weakness..just like george hill i like him also but he can show more potential with the spurs shadowing to tony parker now what george hill on pacer his a start pointguard..i know blair will be like that also showing his great potential to another team..blair and hill is always a spur love you guys :)

  26. rands says:

    Blair needs to loose some weight and improve his outside shooting.

  27. Cedric says:

    The problem was Jefferson but the other problem is they don’t have another big Man they can play like David Robinson. He retired in 2003 and this is 2012 almost ten years later and they still have not gotten any help for Duncan. That’s crazy to me they knew that Td was going to get older.Get another big they are wasting TD last couple of years that he has left. The Jackson trade work out great. Go Spurs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Choker says:

    Take your talents to south beach…. if the spurs dont resign you back…. Heat could use you up

  29. Chris says:

    I love Blair’s heart and what he’s done with himself a short time in this league.

    But I don’t think any guy with no ACLs can truly complain about a team “using him…but it’s a business…” Just keep working your tail off and save every million you can.

  30. AGUSTIN says:

    TO START WITH, SPURS HAVE TO LET GO OF DUNCAN, SPLITTER, NEAL, BONNER, TEAM HAS HEART BUT NO TALENT, NO SIRVEN PARA NADA, THEY PLAY LIKE AVERAGE PEOPLE, THEY CAN BE THE BEST IN THE LAST TWO SEASONS BUT FOR WHAT TO CHOKE WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS. FOR YEARS IVE BEEN SAYING TO LET GO OF JEFFERSON AND NO ONE LISTEN TO ME NOW THAT HE WAS GONE A MUCH BETTER TEAM

    • TTKIN says:

      That team with heart but no talent finished the regular season with the best record in the sport.

    • ROY says:

      TO AGUSTIN did u say they don’t have talent, FOR REAL,,,,, 1 thing SPURS SHARE BALL.. THEY ARE NOT SELFISH LIKE OTHER TEAMS… THEY PLAY TOGETHER AS A TEAM… TEAMWORK! that why spurs is one the best team in the league. and ur telling them they don’t have talent.. everybody knows that spurs is not a team who dunks a lot like other team. so what… they still owning other teams like Lakers. no more comment.. ^^

      • ryuji says:

        they still owning other teams like Lakers. no more comment.. ^^

        -when was the last time they won a championship?
        -spurs lakers record since 1999- 38-38
        -so who’s owning?

  31. Mahmoud says:

    Wizards should get him, he could start over emeka at PF, or he could be a 6th man who gets alot of minutes who could backup up okafor, or nene, and dang he’s cheap only 1.1 million

  32. SmoothMM says:

    Go to Houston when you finish your contract, Blair. It’s only a 3 hour or so drive from San Antonio. The Rockets could use a big like you. They played with Hayes (6’6 235lbs) and he did a good job. You can do the same.

  33. gerry llonillo says:

    sorry for the typo it’s spurs not sours – gervis

  34. gerry llonill says:

    im #1 sours fan and i just wish they keep blair so if they want to run they can put blair with tiago and when they opt to play set offense they can stick with timmy and boris. It’s always a great advantage to have a two dimensional game in this day and age to match with the young guns like okc and chicago bulls. hey pop i know you’ll do the right thing for our team. regards to shooting coach chip – i still remember your playing days with northern consolidated in the phils. please help improve the teams free throw shooting average theyre definitely gonna need it. – gervis

  35. Larry O'Connor says:

    Blair has a point. The Spurs played great when he was starting but could not finish the task when he is not. I would like to see Duncan roll over to Center like Garnett did and let Blair play power.

  36. Frank says:

    Blair is a good player & the Spurs need to understand that he can be a key piece to their rebuilding. Blair would be a nice addition to any team honestly speaking. PLUS, he’s dating MIZZ DR & that alone would be reason to sign him to my resident team the Pistons, but I wouldn’t want him to suffer here. He would be a great addition to the New Orleans Hornets.

  37. hipster says:

    The Spurs are smart. Much smarter than the author of this article. So I don’t really know why this guy is attempting to speculate on what the Spurs will do.

    They will make the right choice with Blair, which will probably be to play him good minutes at the start of the season. If he does well, his trade stock will go up and they can then decide whether he’s worth giving a contract extension or trading.

  38. Wow feel bad for Blair, and for the Spurs…great team with a lot of heart who most likely won’t win another championship just like my celtics…too bad the Heat had to team up and the Thunder had to get so good. Blair will be a dominant force in the future.

    • Me says:

      fans like you are sad, you have no faith…why don’t you just hop on the Heat bandwagon then?..y’all were the same folks (along with the media) saying that they won’t even make it to the playoffs, much less the quarter / semi-finals but they did just that

      • I believe that Boston and San Antonio could win if it wasn’t for those damn refs helping out the Heat!

      • Common Sense says:

        great point. And second point of blaming the refs is horrible. Stick by your team. The Heat were going no where three years ago. Then magically they got Bosh, Bron, Batier, Miller, blah, blah, blah. Realize that this can happen to any team. Nash now playing with Kobe. Odom, Crawford now with Billups, Paul and Griffin. Howard, likely to join Williams, Wallace. All of the teams have the ability to restructure, just look at the Hornets. Stick by your team.

    • TTKIN says:

      I am going to agree with every single letter of the second comment saying the Heat were helped by the refs. If Dwight Howard got the same calls, he’d AVERAGE 20 free throws a game. Whenever the Heat were lookin bad, here came the refs to help out. Glad the Heat finally got their ring cuz with the amount of times the game clock stops during their games, they are one of the most boring teams to watch. Spoelstra was complaining about calls in the same series where James was averaging like 10-12 trips a game.

      You hear that everyone? The future of the NBA! No longer will guys try to imitate Michael Jordan and bury the J. Instead now, just put ur head down, run as fast as u can under the basket, and jump at the end while flailing ur arms. Gets the call every single time and you get free points. What, u dont consider that real basketball? Neither does anyone else hence Miami’s ring will forever have an asterisk…also cuz it was a shortened season.

      And by the way, this is a die hard Laker fan agreeing with a Boston fan. I think that is enough to say our complaint about Miami is valid haha.

      • LL says:

        Thank you. That’s why the NBA’s losing money and arena’s aren’t packing out anymore until the playoffs. Truly sad.

      • Common Sense says:

        Supposed die hard Laker fans and Celtics fans(not the real ones) have one thing in common. When they win, they are the best, when they lose it’s the refs fault. Everyone flails their arms. Everyone tries to get to the line. And ask any real superstar if he ever blames a game on the refs. The answer is NO. So if you are real fans, listen to you team, hang your head, learn your lesson, regroup, and win the next time. Stop blaming the world, god, and everything else for failure. The only way to guarantee you won’t grow is to blame the world for your failure. Accept it, learn from it and move on. I’m a real die hard laker fan and I never would blame the refs. Ask Kobe, he’ll tell you. The thunder simply out played them. Time to regroup, lick wounds and emerge on top next year

      • fan4life says:

        I also agree that the heat were helped out in all the series of the playoff..i’m still pissed about igt and i live in south florida. However i’m happy for battier, Miller and Howard the only three worthy of the ring in my opinion.

      • Celticsfan says:

        @Common Sense Because when we win, we deserved it. Look at the series between Celtics and Heat. The Heat has about 3 times as many free throws in the whole series. That is absolutely ridiculous. The technical calls in game 2? The foul on rondo when we were tied and with about 1 min remaining? This ref were siding the Heat so blatantly its like it was decided this year’s champion would be the Heat. You say learn from it. Learn from what? Learn that the refs sides with the Heat!? So use your brains and think for a second before you say we keep crying like babies because of the ref. Its a valid point! With that said, I’m still sticking with the Cs even though we’re losing Ray. Our team has so much depth with Green, Jet, Sullinger and Melo. I believe we can pull through even if the damn refs decides to side the Heat again. GO CELTICS

      • Yup I never used to like Kobe until I realized how many calls that the Heat get. Kobe as much as I hate to say it is one of the best, most clutch players of all time who matured greatly throughout his career. I hated the Lakers in 2010 because I believe my Celtics were better. The only Laker I even respect at this point is Kobe Bryant now that Derek Fisher is gone to OKC.

  39. omar pierre says:

    Mr Blair is more than welcome to join the L.A. Lakers. He would make an excellent fit.

    • TTKIN says:

      Technically, he wouldnt fit at all cuz he uses his body, is aggressive, and does the dirty work…things no one on their current roster does. so to fit in, he’ll have to drop the enthusiasm, try a little bit less, and then underachieve…and yes, I am a Laker fan haha. Born and raised. But they need guys who try harder.

      • charles says:

        That makes absolutley no sense. I am a laker fanatic that is exactly what they need.

  40. Mohd Eesa says:

    Much better if Dejuan Blair will play import to the philippines. He can dominate the center position there, but in the NBA he’s under size and no match to 7 footers center or even 6’10… Better if the spur get camby or kaman or if they can land Howard.. (spurs twin tower reborn)….

  41. Belizeboy says:

    Asik getting 25mil is just ridiculous.

    • dattebayo says:

      No, Blake Griffin getting a 5 year max deal possibly worth 95 million and Kevin Love only getting a 4 year deal worth 60 million is ridiculous…

      • Common Sense says:

        Come on… Please… We already agree that this is a business, so stop getting personal. Look at which player brings in more money to the organization. if it’s ridiculous, it’s ridiculous that he only gets 95 Mil. Kevin Love doesn’t sell tickets, at home or in visiting cities. Griffin sells out at home and visiting cities. As much as you may hate him like an ex-girlfriend, he brings in money, he brings hope of a championship, and he is incredibly skilled, whether Love is better technically or not. And finally Griffin is a winner. He cares more about winning than Love. He’d give up double doubles every game if guaranteed a win. Love just wants to guarantee is double double, and nba’s best player stats are in tact. His only category lacking is in the wins. When he was out, wins were just as consistent.

      • TWizz says:

        @ Common Sense… Whaaaaaa? Blake Griffin is more of a winner than K.Love? Get outta here.. Wolves were winning mainly because of K.Love with 10x less talent than Clipps have.. If it wasn’t for all the flopping that Griffin, Paul, etc do, they would definitely not have won so many games, and if it wasn’t for Rubio getting injured, Wolves would have won more than they did… K.Love is a winner.. K.Love doesn’t have to flop around constantly to win games. I laughed my a** off when I heard Del Negro say Blake Griffin flops because he gets fouled a lot and refs don’t call it…. He is a big man.. Welcome to the NBA..

      • Common Sense says:

        if it wasn’t for then…if it wasn’t for then…Ok. Sure. Good luck next year

      • Fly Guy says:

        No its not….You have to base that contract on what they were doing when they signed it. Kevin Love signed his extension too soon, I respect the Loyalty he was feeling at the moment….But businesswise. It cost him about 20 million bucks over the next 4 or 5 yrs.

        Blake Griffin is coming off back to back all-star seasons. And in an off-season where money is being spent. Things will be a lot tighter, after next season. You will start to see contracts decrease a little after these next big 3 ( Paul, Howard, Bynum)

    • Rapfan101 says:

      So true he is just a waste, Bulls should use that money towards a proper big man like Chris Kaman

  42. Sharquay says:

    The Spurs would be stupid to get rid of Blair. He is the perfect fit for this team.

    • LOL says:

      Did I read this right that he’ll agree $1.1M only??? Whoa!!! Can somebody from the Chicago or the Knicks (two of my favs team) get this guy right away before he changed his mind???

      • Me says:

        heck Celticvs need a big man and don’t have that much money left, where he at?

      • jared says:

        he didnt say he’d accept 1.1mil thats how much his contract year with san antonio will be. they’re saying they wouldnt get good value trying to trade him since hes only getting 1.1mil. pay attention LOL. (laughing at you not saying your name)

    • dunk says:

      I miss the duncan-robinson duo who beat the all star lakers.. Hope the spurs could repeat that again.

  43. Willy says:

    Always been a Spurs fan always will! Regular season was very different when talking about the rotation of players. Not sure why that happens? Pace of play and turnovers I guess but you need the work horse team to get you through the season. Stay at home Mr. Blair you will have a great season.