For San Antonio Spurs’ Tiago Splitter, his NBA rookie season wasn’t all that he’d planned it to be. Splitter came into the league described as the best big man in Europe.
After being hobbled by injuries early in training camp, and more injuries during the season, Splitter rarely got the regular playing time in the Spurs’ regular rotation.
It wasn’t until game three of the Spurs-Grizzlies playoff series coach Gregg Popovich finally gave Splitter some minutes. Splitter would go on and make the best of the minutes in the playoffs until the team reached its early ending in game six against Memphis.
The site Globoesporte.com recently had an interview with Splitter, where he told them he is “eager” to play in the Olympic qualifier in Argentina, discusses the absence of Nene and Leandro Barbosa from the Brazilian National team, and how he will let his game speak for him.
On getting limited minutes with the Spurs:
I’m eager to play, that’s the truth. I spent all year playing a few minutes, everyone knows.I was not used to it. So I came here with a great desire to train and keep our group ready to compete in the Pre-Olympic.
On being called Brazil’s team leader now:
This is all a consequence. There’s no point I get here and say: “I want to be the guy.” Can I say what I want, but it is within the court that will be shown the value of each player. Obviously I do not think I’m the best player or the worst or anything. I come here to work like everyone else. I know this is a cliché, but true.
On playing without Varejao, Nene, and Barbosa:
I tried but could not really talk to them. I do not know what are the reasons I do not know what happened. All I know is that of Anderson, who is recovering from injury and can not play. I talked to Nene and Leandro during the season. They were in doubt. They wanted to be, but there were some problems. The Nene said he would have a child, but do not know what was the final show of it. It is also clear that the issue of the contract, he became a free agent now.And Leandro Barbosa also had doubts of contract, injury, do not really know what was the reason. But I know they were willing to be here.
(Photo: Rodrigo Alves of Globoesporte.com)