Scott Agness of IndianaPacers.com recently wrote a one-on-one piece with one of the newest members of the San Antonio Spurs, Jeff Pendergraph. In the article, Pendergraph revealed to Agness why he chose San Antonio, what he expects to do, and how he is looking forward to learning and thriving with the Spurs.
Pendergraph says he and his wife wanted to return to Indiana, but he was disappointed the Pacers were only offering the minimum while they were out looking for other free agents.
He said he had discussions with the New Orleans Pelicans, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Denver Nuggets, but the Spurs’ offer was just too good to pass up. One main reason he chose San Antonio, was because the Spurs also brought in Jim Boylen, a former assistant coach with the Pacers.
“That was definitely a pro,” he said. “He was one of the coaches that I was really close with and I was working out with him all the time. Now with him in San Antonio too, things won’t be so strange or different. It’ll be a little bit more familiar.
Even General Manager R.C. Buford recently said a key reason the Spurs brought in Pendergraph was because Boylen was so high on him and felt he could be effective in San Antonio.
Going from cold snowy winters to hot summers is also a change for Pendergraph and his family.
“The weather is nice and I get to wear shorts all year. My wife will love it.”
As Agness writes, former Spurs guard George Hill who Buford once said “will always be a Spur” also gave Pendergraph the idea that San Antonio is one of the best organizations to play in.
Pendergraph still remains in frequent contact with a handful of Pacers, particularly George Hill and Ian Mahinmi. He had heard positive reviews about playing in San Antonio often from Hill, who’d share stories when those three would go to dinner on the road.
On what the Spurs will demand of him, Agness writes the Spurs didn’t tell Pendergraph his specific role just yet, but judging by what head coach Gregg Popovich told him, he’s going to have an idea of what the demand will be.
Pendergraph said that Coach Popovich did tell him to “Come in, work hard, work your butt off and everything will work out how it’s supposed to work out.
For a young player, Pendergraph seems to be excited at the opportunity to not only grow as a player, but learn from arguably the greatest power forward ever, Tim Duncan.
“I’m going to get in there and learn as much as I can as fast as I can and just try to contribute in any way I can. Hopefully eventually that leads to playing time, real minutes. What I earn, instead of just being a good practice player and teammate.”
“They’re all stacked, too,” he said. “If you’re playing behind Tim Duncan, he’s Tim Duncan. How crazy is that to go from David West to Tim Duncan. One of the best power forwards in the NBA to the arguably the best power forward ever. Man, just the ability to learn, it’s going to be awesome. I can’t wait to get there, pick people’s brains and get into practice and start playing against everybody and getting my butt kicked.”
Even if he’s not playing, Agness writes that Pendergraph is a locker room spirit type of guy, as he’ll be doing whatever it takes to motivate his teammates even if he’s not playing in the game, very similar to what Patty Mills does with the team at times.