San Antonio Spurs’ DeJuan Blair started as the Spurs’ starting center for most of the season. Then as the season wore on, he was benched in favor of Antonio McDyess.
While McDyess did provide more veteran leadership and defensive presence on the court than Blair did, could another reason for Blair’s benching be because of his character?
According to Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, Blair has to work on other aspects of himself not related to his performance on the court:
After Blair ballooned to nearly 300 pounds late in the season, Popovich challenged him to shed excess weight. In response, Blair dropped 20 pounds by cutting fast food out of his diet.
Heading into the summer, Popovich has challenged Blair again.
Blair’s future with the Spurs, the coach said, is not aligned with “working on his jumper or developing a jump hook. It’s not defense.”
“It’s personal discipline, responsibility and maturity,” Popovich said. “That will get him to the next level. Short of that, he’ll have a hard time.”
It may be harsh words for Blair to hear from Popovich but it’s this kind of “tough love” approach that will help Blair heading into next season.
What do you have to say about Pop’s remarks on Blair?