Blair on life in Russia, coach Pop, Durant, and more


DBOn Wednesday, news came out about San Antonio Spurs’ DeJuan Blair posting a double-double with his new Russian team BC Krasnye Krylya Samara.

The Russian site Sport.UA was able to get an exclusive interview with Blair regarding the move to Russia, what he thinks of Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan, whether he had ever discussed going to Russia with Popovich, whether or not he keeps up with his Spurs teammates, and who he feels is the NBA’s most talented star today.

Keep in mind that the article was originally written in Russian so the English translation is a bit rough.

– Still, choice is not simple. What do you know about the new country of residence and the new team to come to Russia?

– I have only heard good reviews about the European basketball and basketball in Russia in particular. In the end, I decided to try his hand at a completely new environment for me. I knew that there is a very good coach, and the composition is very strong, a lot of guys have experience of playing at a high level, including the NBA. In any case, I am sure will be coming to Russia for me, interesting and rewarding experience.

– Two years you played under the direction of Gregg Popovich in the company of one of the best players of our time – Tim Duncan. Tell us about this stage of career.

– For me this was destiny- to play in San Antonio and working with (Popovich) and Timmy. To me, they both become true mentors and teachers. They – the best! I also thank the fans and the Spurs, they have always supported me very warmly and treated me.

– By the way, is a known fact that Gregg has a good command of Russian.You talk to him about Russia, or he can teach you some phrases in Russian?

– No, we had not discussed these topics, but now, I think, after my return, it will be something to talk about (laughs).

– Do you keep in touch with their counterparts from Spurs? You do not know, can someone else is going to Europe?

– Yes, we talk, I’m on good terms with everyone, but honestly, I do not know who will play where. On these topics we have not talked about.

– Who are your most talented peers? For example, with Blake Griffin you sign on the battles at the college level. It’s really that strong?

– The NBA is now a lot of talented young people, very much. But I would single out, first of all, Kevin Durant. This level, and he, incidentally, is only 22 years!Blake And, yes, certainly a great player, and besides, he’s my good friend!