In an interview with esporte.ig.com.br, San Antonio Spurs' center, Tiago Splitter, was asked about finally joining the Spurs, and much more:
P - Only after three years of his employment that you decided to go to the NBA. Why?
R - I had a contract in Europe that had to comply. But thinking about basketball, I matured a lot [in Europe], I could improve my game, I managed to win both individual and collective titles. I was very happy to have been these three years in Europe and improved my game.
Q - What are the difficulties you expect to find in his first season in the NBA?
R - Obviously I need some time to adapt. It is normal after so many years playing in Europe. Moving to the North American league, where there is this difference. When you can adapt myself, I will not have any problem because I have total support of technicians and leaders of San Antonion. As for the game in the NBA he is much faster in transition. Some rules may, in Spain, in Europe, is allowed much more contact. In the NBA, the defense that is very different, is no longer any contact. So I have to learn to defend, to do the locks on the attack because they are very different in the NBA.
Q - How are you imagining your start? Will leave the bank or will be one of the holders of the team?
R - To tell the truth, I'm not thinking about that yet. First I have to work, I have to train. I need to play well to get my minutes. This is normal, it will be my first year there. The same illusion that I had when I was 15 and went to Europe I am now, waiting, eager to begin training.
The one thing which stands out for me is how Splitter acknowledges he is starting over and is humbled enough to know there is an established leadership core with the Spurs. He recognizes he has to work to earn minutes on the court and nothing will be handed to him. Very impressive from the MVP and champion from Caja Laboral.
Click HERE for the complete interview.