On Saturday, San Antonio Spurs guard Nando De Colo made his preseason debut as the Spurs defeated Montepaschi Siena by 29 points in the AT&T Center. For De Colo, playing an Italian club was a familiar experience, though playing an Italian team in the United States may have been something that he had not’t imagined before.
Before De Colo scored two points, dished three assists, and stole the ball three times on Saturday, I caught up with the French guard for the first time this season.
De Colo was sitting quietly in the locker room, preparing himself for the game at hand. I asked him if I could conduct an interview, and he said yes.
My first question to De Colo was how he had felt going through a week of training camp. He said he was fine and his new teammates will be there for him should he need a helping hand.
“It’s OK,” said De Colo of training camp for one week, “I’m fine with the team. If I need some help, everyone is there to help me.”
I then asked De Colo if he was looking to show his teammates and the coaching staff any specific element of his game as he’s a fresh face in the silver and black. He was humble in his response.
“I don’t want to show something,” said De Colo. “I just want to know how to play on the court and what the coach want me to play, after that I worry about it.”
De Colo would go on to make some key plays with his defense and as has been noticed, his passing ability. One of his first plays when hitting the floor was throwing a bounce pass through traffic in the half court that was received by one of his big men. He scored his only two points on a fast break layup on the left side of the court. He made the AT&T Center jump off their feet when he fed Derrick Brown a behind-the-back pass in the open court that Brown finished when received.
What’s most interesting about Saturday was that De Colo was the first shooting guard to replace Manu Ginobili off the bench. Stephen Jackson may be onto something when he said after the game that De Colo reminded him of a younger Ginobili.
“Nando is another Manu Ginobili,” said Jackson Saturday. “He’s a student of the game. He knows his the game, he knows his space, he knows when to take his shots, and that’s something you can’t teach.”