Gary Neal’s signing with the Milwaukee Bucks was officially announced yesterday. His time was well spent with the San Antonio Spurs and he sat down with Jim Paschke from Bucks.com to talk about both his new and former team.
On his thoughts of going to Milwaukee:
“I’m excited, it’s a great opportunity for me. After having conversations with Coach (Larry) Drew I felt strongly about coming to Milwaukee and just grateful and thankful for the opportunity to come here and play.”
When asked about why he chose Milwaukee:
“Just opportunity, I think in Milwaukee my role and opportunity will be enhanced. Being a competitor and a guy that loves to be in the gym and play, it was a challenge I looking for and I was waiting for in my career.”
What Neal will bring that he learned from San Antonio:
“Being in San Antonio for 3 years, their professionalism. Playing with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili those guys are extremely professional. Just the way they conducted themselves both on and off the court, being around those guys for 3 years taught me a lot.”
“Bringing that attitude every day. I’m gonna work, gonna bust my butt on the court. To just passing that attitude down to some of the younger guys. Having them look at me as a guy that’s been in playoff battles and has a little bit of experience. Just seeing how I conduct myself, hopefully some of the younger guys will be able to kind of pick up on that like how I picked up on the veterans in San Antonio.”
Is he a rag to riches kind of story?
“Yeah I honestly feel like I started from the bottom of the basketball ladder. I was in Europe for 3 years then I played well enough in Summer League to get a 3 year deal with San Antonio. So I feel like I kind of started from the bottom and through a process of hard work and some luck and a whole lot of blessings I’m able to be in Milwaukee now. I’m thankful and grateful that I’m able to be a part of this.”
On if the Bucks are being built around the three-pointer:
“With the new additions that seem to be coming in, they have a reputation of being a shooter. You have OJ Mayo, Luke (Ridnour), myself, and (Carlos) Delfino. All four of us are guys capable of spacing the floor. Then with the guys they already have here, with Ersan Ilyasova being a pick-and-pop 4 that will definitely give us a great dimension to play a lot of different ways.”
About not having big names on the roster:
“If you can get guys to come in and believe in a system, and commit to competing night in and night out and play unselfishly. Even if you don’t have the biggest names in the NBA but you have guys that are committed to the team and to each other and playing the right way you always have a chance to win games at the end of the day. I think that’s what Coach Drew is trying to build here and that’s the message they relayed to me and that was one of the main reasons I was so excited because it sounds like this organization and this team is going in the right direction.”
Neal will be missed by many Spurs fans after his three year tenure with the team. There is no love lost between the Neal’s family and San Antonio as his wife went to Twitter to show their appreciation for the city yesterday.
As when most players leave San Antonio, fans will wish Neal the best of luck on his new opportunity with the Bucks and he will forever be considered a part of the silver and black.
What do you think Spurs fans? Was it wise for the Spurs to let Neal walk? Should they have resigned him?