As the newest addition to the San Antonio Spurs, Jeff Pendergraph brings a certain dynamic to the game with his hustle and energy. Pendergraph comes over from the Indiana Pacers who had nothing but good things to say about him.
In a good piece by Ken Rodriguez, Pendergraph and the Pacers talked about what he brings to a team.
“The thing people don’t know about Jeff Pendergraph is that he’s got an extraordinary basketball IQ," former Coach Frank Vogel says. "He’s like an assistant coach out there, in every practice and every film session. He’s coaching everybody. He sees everything and really, really understands the game.”
“IQ is probably the biggest part of my game,” Pendergraph says. “Being on the sideline a lot, you have to watch a lot of stuff. If I’m not the one out there playing, I make sure the ones who are are doing the right thing. I try to communicate with them. That’s a part of my game I’ve worked hard to develop. I’m always asking coaches questions. ‘What about this play? What about that play?’ I try to communicate on both ends of the floor and help my teammates get better.”
Also the newest addition to the Spurs coaching staff, Jim Boylen, was a big influence in bringing over Pendergraph from the Pacers.
“Boylen was my workout coach in Indiana. We worked out every day. We went out to eat together. It was awesome. It’s really cool to have him here. I could talk to him about anything going on — about my game, about my playing time. He always had an open ear and gave me advice. He didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear but what I needed to hear.”
Pendergraph not only brings over his hard-nosed game, but also his pregame antics.
He unleashes a series of shimmies and shakes, jumps and bumps — all improvisational — that defy description. “I don’t know what to call it,” he says. “It’s just crazy.”
“I like to get everybody hyped up and ready to go but I’m not going to force it in San Antonio. If the team is not ready for it, I’ll just have to figure out another way to contribute.”
Spurs fans can be ready to see a player who doesn’t mind getting in the mix down low. His toughness and physicality off the bench will be embraced by a team that plays more of a finesse style.
Do Spurs fans think Pendergraph will have a big role off the bench?