The San Antonio Spurs released their 2013 Vegas Summer League roster and listed was guard Nando De Colo.
De Colo is coming off an up-and-down rookie season and went through some growing pains along the way including voicing frustration at being buried on the bench as the season progressed.
But if time on the court is what Nando is looking for, he is certainly going to get it this summer not only on Vegas but also with the French national team. However, playing for the Summer League team was a bit of a surprise for him.
With Nando committing to play for France later this summer, he was a bit taken a back that the Spurs want him to head to Vegas instead of resting up for Team France and for next season (via French site Lavoix Des Sport).
"Forced is a big word. But the Spurs told me that it would be better if I go to the Summer League. I was so surprised, because with the Team France ahead, I thought they would give me a little more rest and because it can be a plus for next season. Coaches think this is the best, it's also part of the job. I knew that I played little in the first season, I could be asked to go. We had already warned Team France that I might be late and I sent a message to Vincent Collet. It's not as if I Loupais half of the preparation 'or as if it was my first year, the system will not change much. And they know that this is important to me. "
Surprises aside, Nando is certainly going to take advantage of playing time in Vegas. He realizes how important it is to play well considering he can play both guard spots which will give San Antonio a chance to see how he will fit next season.
"These summer games can afford to really determine what role the Spurs can use me. I will not just play point guard but also play the two guard. It is a job that I really like. I always like to play the 1 or 2 spot. I love being in between, start as a two guard and take the point guard spot, just the way of Manu Ginobili."
As for the past season, Nando reflected on his rookie season and sees just how radically different the NBA is in contrast to the Euroleague.
"I knew coming in, the objectives were very high: the finals, especially in the NBA, you have to play it. Besides going to the NBA Finals, we made it. The defeat in the Finals was frustrating when you're on the brink of first NBA title, you think 'why not?'. It's not often a team goes to the Finals, this is the mark of the NBA. Overall, it was a good season. Individually, I have learned a lot, the American game system. Ten coaches at your side, it always surprises. You adapt to everything. In the NBA, you do not know what to expect. When you're on a winning team, it's easier to forget you do not have time to play that you would have liked. This is a team that does not change players every year, the three major players (Duncan, Parker, Ginobili) are in place for ten years. I was the new player. It's not as easy as you might think to get playing time. I must continue, it is also why I'll play at the Summer League. "