After a stellar performance with the San Antonio Spurs' 2010 Summer League squad, the Spurs signed Gary Neal to a three-year deal. Now he is excited to be in the NBA fulfilling his dream.
In an interview with thetowerlight.com, Neal spoke about the Spurs and being in the NBA. Here is what he had to say on being with the Spurs:
“They have the cool and the calmness about them,” Neal said. “When you’re a guy like me coming into my situation- a new environment, a new city, a new community, a new team, a new system – it always helps to have older, veteran guys who are good guys, good players that have good social skills and can relate things that you may be doing wrong. They can relay it to you in a positive manner that way you can pick it up better.”
On working hard to reach his goal of playing in the NBA:
“If you’re a guy that goes as hard as you can go in the weight room and the conditioning and with the basketball skill workout, as far as shooting jump shots or working on your ball handling, it just carries over into a game,” he said. “I don’t know too many guys who don’t have great work ethic and can produce night in and night out at a high level. It just doesn’t work that way. You get out what you put in.”
“This is something that since I was six years old, this was my goal- to play in the NBA,” he said. “I’m excited just to have the experience to play in the NBA and to have the experience to play in front of my family. It’s been about three or four years since my family’s seen me play a live game. So it’s just an experience that I’m really, really excited about and I can’t really wait until the first game that I put on a uniform and run on the court.”
I was in Las Vegas and was able to see Neal's game up close. He has a deadly shooting touch and a quick release. My concern is that his play was against summer league talent. How will he fair playing against top NBA defenders remains to be seen. Plus he will have to work on defense but if he shoots the ball the way he did in Las Vegas, I am sure he will get minutes on the floor.
Roger Mason Jr. and Michael Finley were not great defenders but when they made shots, they got minutes. Same can be true for Neal.