New Wizards signee DeJuan Blair spoke to local media in a conference call Thursday afternoon for the first time since joining the team. A candid Blair touched on a variety of subjects, like his upbringing, his lack of ACLs, the recent birth of his daughter, his time playing for the Spurs and Mavericks, and his thoughts on his new team, but no matter what question he was addressing, he seemed to work one particular word into each answer: fun.
Basketball is fun again for the 25-year old Blair, largely due to his play during the Mavericks' playoff series against the Spurs last season. "It was just a lot of fun playing against your old team," Blair said. "See how good you can be against the best team and I stepped up to the challenge. I did a great job and had fun at the same time. Basketball became fun again."
The contentious relationship between Blair and his old team is no secret, with Blair commenting in the past that he was unhappy with his role in the Spur's rotation while questioning whether or not coach Gregg Popovich believed in him. However, Blair found a solid role with the Mavericks, and his strong play against the Spurs gave him the confidence and belief he was lacking. "I think that series was something I needed for my career. The confidence I needed for my career as well," Blair added. The bad blood between Blair and the Spurs seems to be a thing of the past, however. When asked if he was looking forward to playing against his old team, Blair shrugged off the idea of added motivation, noting "This whole season I've got circled".
Blair's praise of his new team was glowing, as he expressed how excited he was to join a Wizards team that included names like John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Paul Pierce. "I was excited to when I got the news. It was like a dream come true. Last year, I saw what kind of team they had, the youth, the big men coming up. The ingredients around the team. I think I'll be a great addition". Blair noted that he hadn't sat down with coach Randy Wittman, but he was looking forward to meeting him. He said he hopes to add energy and leadership to the Wizard's frontcourt.
Between Blair's newfound confidence, his enjoyment of the game, his excitement about his new team, and the recent birth of his daughter, which he called the happiest moment of his life and the "best thing that ever happened to me", Blair seems to have a lot of positives in his life right now. He seems poised for a big year. Most importantly, he's gonna have some fun along the way.
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Tags: Basketball, DeJuan Blair, NBA, Washington, Washington Wizards