Ever since former San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair became a free agent and subsequently signed with the Dallas Mavericks, the headlines have been hard to avoid.
Blair seems to have been in more headlines regarding his former team than he his been for his current team, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also jumped in on the fun along the way.
Dallas Morning News beat writer Eddie Sefko recently participated in a chat, and the topic of DeJuan Blair and the Spurs came up yet again.
Question: Is Dejuan Blair the mavs best cleanup style worker since Seshawn and cardinal?
Sefko: He's got more raw ability than the great Brian Cardinal and he's got a more versatile game than DeShawn Stevenson. I think I may have written in this space a month or two ago that it was going to be hard to keep him off the court. I think that's fast becoming the case. It's hard not to like the work this guy does. He's on a mission this season, not only to get next year's contract, but to rub the Spurs' nose in it a little. The Mavericks will benefit from that.
Blair has been a nice addition to the Mavs and could break his career high in minutes played per game, playing seven more minutes per game this season than he did with the Spurs last season, and he is currently averaging 8.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
But Blair put up similar numbers playing similar minutes in his second and third seasons with the Spurs. Talent has never been the question with Blair. he obviously has the talent to be a role player in this league, but his last season in San Antonio proved he wasn't a player who believed in "the Spurs way."
Players like Manu Ginobili decided team was more important when he was moved to the bench, even if it meant a decrease in minutes, years ago. It's doubtful that he will prove anything to the Spurs by playing well or earning another contract. The Spurs drafted him because of his talent, but his focus on his former team and "rubbing their nose in it" seems to be doing everything but proving the one thing the Spurs may have questioned about him. It's only validating those concerns.