Saturday, May 30, 2009

Olé: Oberto Interview

-¿How do you evaluate your 4th NBA season?

-It was the roughest. Even though I began the season playing, then came the first arrythmia, in march, and it cut my playing rythm, the confidence of being healthy... At that moment I had a role on the team but then it became more difficult because I went out, others came in and the team got used to playing with other players, it becomes hard to crack the rotation. I only came in when my style was more appropriate for the opponent.

-Matt Bonner played well and that left you out, right?

-Yes, that might be it, but I dont have problems with the coaches decisions, and I never will.

-¿Is the new trend of small ball and shooting bigs hurting your chances?

-Thats not something that concerns me. I've played PF and C, sometimes with Tim (Duncan) and others coming in for him. Its an alternative to make the attack more dynamic or to space the floor for a dominant big, but I still think there is room for all of us, there are a lot of games, different rivals...

-You had two arrythmias, ¿were you scared?

-Not scared because the coaching staff of the Spurs, who are very careful and professional, told me not to worry. Its impossible for them to send you in if there is a risk. Besides I always felt fine. Except for a dizzy spell that made them give me shocks to reset my heart beat...

-¿What are the shocks like?

-They knock you out and do it. I didnt get scared because they are good doctors and its not that strange, but the first time.... you know Hakeem Olajuwon had to do it 3 times a season.

-¿What were the results of the last tests?

-The last few days I was with 2 cardiólogists specialized in athletes and I still have another session. The results are that, in the future, I dont have to worry. I still have another meeting with those specialists, probably wednesday, to be at ease that I am safe on the court. It remains to be seen if there is a cure, if I have to medicate or rest a while. but Im already thinking of next season

-You have another year on your contract, but only partly guaranteed.

-Exactly. And the spurs have till the 30th of June to let me know if I stay

-¿What do you want to do?

-I really like this city and franchise. I understand my role and I know that I can help more than this year to win more championships.

-¿What contact have you had, did they anticipate anything?

-Not yet. Everything is quiet and maybe in the next 10 days we'll know something

-¿Would it bother you to be traded or cut?

-No. I know the rules of the game. San Antonio is a team looking to improve, But I feel they have always respected and valued me, playing or not.

-You played a lot and well in the last champion season (06/07) and barely at all in the last. ¿Does it affect your confidence, your belief of belonging in the NBA?
-Not my confidence. When I was able to play I didnt do it bad. Its just that, when you play 30 mins, you have the time to develop your game. When you play 5 or 10m, the results are mixed... But my experience helps me, I still trust in my ability.

-¿Do you think of returning to europe?
-Id rather stay, I like the NBA, the experience, its the highest level... But I'd never close the door to europe. I havent asked my agent about offers, but soon I will call, see whats on the table and decide my future

Express News: The Casspi question
By Jeff McDonald
The NBA draft is still nearly a month away. For everybody except the Lakers, Cavaliers, Magic and maybe the Nuggets, it's not too early to start looking ahead to June 25.

For the Spurs, much of the early speculation — emphasis on the word early — has surrounded a 20-year-old Israeli named Omri Casspi.

Casspi, a 6-foot-8 small forward, isn't exactly a household name in the Alamo City. Draft wonks, and certainly those in the Spurs front office, know exactly who he is. Casspi has been playing in the Euroleague since he was 17, most recently with Maccabi Tel Aviv. He has been on the Spurs radar for about as long.

He is a decent 3-point shooter (shooting nearly 40 percent for Maccabi Tel Aviv last season), in the mold of Utah's Matt Harpring. One of the Spurs' goals this offseason is to begin to get younger on the wing, and Casspi — still not old enough to drink legally in the United States — certainly fills the bill there.

Unlike other European prospects the Spurs have taken in recent drafts (see Splitter, Tiago), Casspi reportedly is bedazzled with the prospect of playing in the NBA, and would likely take a financial hit to make that dream come true.

So, what's to keep Casspi from taking a call from the Spurs on draft day? There are two intertwined factors.

No. 1 — There are rumors that Casspi will withdraw from the draft if he's not guaranteed to be a first round pick. At the pre-draft combine in Chicago earlier this week, he didn't exactly deny that rumor. At this point, Casspi is projected as a late first-round, early second-round selection.

No. 2 — The Spurs have no first-round pick this season, having dealt theirs (No. 25 overall) to Seattle/Oklahoma City in February 2008 as part of the Kurt Thomas deal. The Spurs do have three second-round picks (Nos. 37, 51 and 53).

Don't be surprised to see the Spurs try to trade into the bottom of the first round, if they think they have a shot at Casspi. That is one storyline worth watching on draft day.

Casspi, meanwhile, hasn't scheduled a private workout with the Spurs, and it remains uncertain that he would. He probably doesn't have to. The Spurs have been scouting Casspi for so long, they know all there is to know about him.

However, there is a long and growing list of prospects who have worked out or are believed to have worked out for the Spurs. Among them:

PGNic Wise of Arizona, Ben Woodside of North Dakota State, Kyle McAlarney of Notre Dame, Jeremy Pargo of Gonzaga, Donald Sloan of Texas A&M, Curtis Jerrells of Baylor and Nick Calathes of Florida.

SGDionte Christmas of Temple, Dwyane Collins of Miami, Alex Ruoff of West Virginia, Greivis Vasquez of Maryland, Va., Jermaine Taylor from Central Florida and Courtney Fells from North Carolina State.

SF/PF: Tyler Smith of Tennesee, Robert Dozier of Memphis and Leo Lyons from Missouri.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cleveland Insider: Calling on Pop

Cavs coach Mike Brown said he's been talking to close friend and mentor Gregg Popovich over the past several days in working on game plans. The San Antonio Spurs coach and Brown talk often during the season, but this is the first time the Spurs haven't been alive in the playoffs and the Cavs have, enabling Brown to seek more advice.

"Pop's always been a great sounding board for me," Brown said.

As for people calling Brown, that's quite different. Brown said over the past few days he's had plenty of people come up to him or call him with ideas of how to help with the Cavs' issues with the Magic -- especially on defense and in guarding the 3-point shot.

"I've had a lot of suggestions on how to stop the 3 from my son to my best friend to you name it," Brown said.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ginóbili's future with Argentina uncertain (Notícia: Futuro incerto de Ginóbili na selecção argentina)
Argentinian superstar Manu Ginóbili expressed doubts about his participation with the national next year at the World Championship in Turkey. If Argentina is to qualify through the Americas Championship this year (which will not have the participation of the guard), the 31-year-old is still unsure about joining, as his body is already reflecting the many years of competition both at club and national team level. In the Beijing Olympics last year, Ginóbili got injured in the game semi-final game against the United States and no longer returned for the bronze medal match.

According to the player, a decision, on which the San Antonio Spurs have no special say, is to be taken just next year, when the tournament approaches.

(A superestrela argentina Manu Ginóbili expressou dúvidas relativamente à sua participação no Campeonato do Mundo da Turquia, a disputar no próximo ano. Caso a Argentina se qualifique através do Campeonato das Américas deste ano (que não contará com a presença do base), o jogador de 31 anos ainda não sabe se se juntará à selecção, uma vez que fisicamente já existem sinais dos vários anos de competição ao nível de clubes e da selecção. Nos Jogos Olímpicos de Pequim do ano passado, Ginóbili lesionou-se na meia-final frente aos Estados Unidos, e já não regressou para disputar o jogo de atribuição da medalha de bronze.

De acordo com o jogador, uma decisão, à qual os San Antonio Spurs serão alheios, será tomada apenas no ano que vem, pouco antes do início do torneio.)
Sports Top Blogs