Yeah that is right, we have Spurs fans in Brazil and they have a blog that is really, really good and has some nice articles on there. Recently I came across an interview they got to conduct with Tiago Splitter.
I reached out to these guys and they seem to have a great passion for the Spurs and has told me that looking at the American blogs are the main reason that got them to start one for fans in Brasil.
Spurs Brazil – What do you do the balance of his first season with the San Antonio Spurs?
Tiago Splitter – I started with an injury problem, I came pretty worn out from my time in Spain and had the following Sunday, which I could not play 100%. This weighed heavily on pre-season and fell on an injury just when I was starting my career in the NBA. But fortunately I was able to recover, could help the team at times of the season. Maybe I did not have the minutes that I wanted, but it is normal on condition that I was a rookie on a team and playing conservative, Popovich, I think that’s a normal thing and I accept his decision. I hope to continue improving. I think both on and off the court learned a lot and hope to continue improving next season, be a little more active in games and to help the Spurs win more games.
Continue after the jump to check out the rest of the interview.
SB – How to work with Popovich? What is the relationship with him in and out of court?
TS – He, on the court, is a very demanding guy, asks a lot of basketball things. I think this is normal and necessary, within the group have a leader like him in the Spurs. Off the court, exceptional. Everyone treated me well, not only him, but I was treated well from day one and I feel really well in San Antonio, as if I were at home. I hope to be there many years.
SB – How is your relationship with Tim Duncan? He tries to teach you some things? What have you learned from him this season?
TS – He is one of the greatest players in NBA history, so no one discusses it. For me it was very rewarding to play with him, learn the attitude that he has inside and outside the court. I think at this point, we even looks like. I hope to have him at least another year, he has to contract. Obviously he is no longer the boy of 22, 23 years when he was better physically, but he still has plenty of basketball, knows the game better than anyone and I hope he can help this year with his experience in the NBA, not just me but the other players.
SB – And Manu Ginobili? Probably it will be in the Pre-Olympic and you, who are used to playing together, they have to face. How will you face for a companion?
TS – He really is a different player. I think it’s the only player in the world that has Euroleague, NBA and Olympic titles as … So it really is hard to stop him. But I think both I and Reuben (Magnano) worked with him and other players from Argentina, so we’ll have to work hard enough to defend them and win them back in Argentina.
SB – How your participation in this selection can help you in San Antonio?There was no kind of impediment on the part of the Spurs? How the team handles the issue of giving their players for national teams?
TS – I think nobody likes your player, which is on your team, play with his national team. But they respect my decision, I know I want to play with the selection. I think everyone was more or less aware of the situation that would exist from the lockout, then it is also a way for me to keep me in basketball, keep fit and with the mentality of a basketball player, not only be trained individually in a court. So could be playing important games and will also help in deciding my career.
SB – With the lockout was officially decreed, one contentious issue was the insurance of the players. How was this resolved for you to be here serving the selection?
TS – Well … I will not say what was the way, but it was solved. That is the question which is why I’m here. For some time now we’re behind it and has been resolved.
SB – With lockout installed, still no one is quite sure what will happen.There is the possibility of athletes returning to work in teams of Europe, or resume play in their countries or on other teams? The players know about this subject?
TS – we really do not know on what date the NBA and players association will enter into an agreement, it does not exist. Actually there is tremendous uncertainty around it and everything is very loose. Of course, the possibility exists that you go play in Europe, or you come to play in Brazil, China or wherever. But my mindset at the moment is to continue at the San Antonio Spurs. I think they waited enough for me after the Draft and I respect that, I want to go there. I’ll work after the selection, until the individual returns to be ready and be in good condition for next season.
SB – In Pre-Olympic, what do you expect from your performance on the court?Marcelinho Huertas and you are perhaps the two leading names in this selection and have that responsibility to lead the team. So how will handle this responsibility? Still there is that disconnect between the time that you worked in Spain?
TS – Absolutely. I think there is harmony. The issue of liability, I think that’s natural. This happens over time. In other years I was the 12th man, but nowadays there is a different weight in the selection and we have to take it for granted. We play in a team sport, but obviously every player knows their responsibility within the court and I know what will be mine. So along with the coach, we will form a team able to get the Pre-Olympic good, and everyone knows his role right into the court.
— Courtesy Victor Moraes, Spurs Brasil