AT&T CENTER – Walking into the Dallas Mavericks locker room, there sat a joking-smiling DeJuan Blair in conversation with Jae Crowder. This wasn’t the usual sight you would see from Blair last year when walking into the San Antonio Spurs locker room before a game.
I asked Blair, who was much more charismatic today as opposed to last year when I spoke with him in a Spurs uniform, if he had any pregame thoughts or emotions running through his mind in his return to the AT&T Center.
Blair put it quite simply: “It’s going to be fun.”
Playing against the Spurs, the team that drafted him and where he learned a system under Gregg Popovich, Blair said he doesn’t really have to prepare for the games when he’ll face San Antonio.
“Yup, I know everything,” said Blair of the Spurs’ system. “It’s going to be a good one. Like I said, it’s going to be fun knowing their system and what they do, and how they play.”
It’s no question Blair is happier these days in Dallas, and he confirmed that himself.
“It’s great,” said Blair of playing with the Mavericks. “I have a big role, I’m playing a lot more, I’m enjoying it.”
As it was noted in his time in San Antonio, Blair and the Spurs never panned out outside of the 2010-2011 season when he started a majority of the Spurs’ games. Last season, while with San Antonio, he demanded to be traded through his agent but the Spurs decided to keep him for their playoff run until he became an unrestricted free agent in the summer, where he signed with Dallas. This season with Dallas, Blair is averaging 8.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game.
The Spurs will take on the Mavericks at 6 PM CST. Manu Ginobili will sit out as a cautionary move with a tight hamstring.