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mvblair
10-11-2007, 12:52 PM
I'm not really sure where to put this topic. If any moderator wants to move it, feel free.

My brother Joseph Blair didn't get picked up for a contract in Chicago, even though he is a better player than many of their young big men. At 33, he just doesn't get much respect. But Blair is a great center. Anybody remember his days in Arizona? The Chicago Sun had a good article about him today:

Short Term Bull Takes Long View on Life (http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/cs-071010bulls11oct11,1,5546561.story?coll=cs-bulls-headlines) - by KC Johnson, Chicago Sun

...You won't find many NBA rookies—or veterans, for that matter—who call Khalil Gibran their favorite author "by far" and spend pregame time reading Sidney Poitier's spiritual autobiography, "The Measure of a Man."

Blair wasn't your typical NBA rookie.

For starters, the 6-foot-10-inch forward-center was the oldest player in Bulls camp. He's three weeks older than eight-year veteran Adrian Griffin, three months older than 11-year veteran Ben Wallace and 13 months older than 12-year veteran Joe Smith.

When Blair, 33, graduated from Arizona with a degree in communications, Tyrus Thomas was in 5th grade.

Further, since Seattle selected him in the second round of the 1996 NBA draft, Blair has lived a nomadic life of overseas basketball opportunities and self-discovery.

Blair, a Houston native, has played in France, Greece, Italy and Turkey—and twice for the Harlem Globetrotters. He has tried to immerse himself in the cultures of each land, fully embracing Italy because he played in three different parts of the country there and had two of his three children there with his former Italian girlfriend.

Blair speaks fluent Italian.

"The people are so warm and accommodating," he said after Wednesday's workout at the Berto Center, his last as a Bull. "It's a very family-oriented country."

Blair left it to pursue one final crack at an NBA dream that seemed realistic when he played with Damon Stoudamire as Arizona reached the 1994 Final Four. Eleven years after drafting him, the SuperSonics still owned his rights. But his agent engineered his release, which didn't even make the Sonics' official transactions.

The Bulls signed him Oct. 2, in part as a big body for training camp, in part because his agent, Keith Glass, also advises coach Scott Skiles.

"Joe is different, and I mean that in a good way," Glass said. "He's a bright guy who has learned everywhere he has gone."

Blair, not surprisingly, carried a healthy dose of perspective about his NBA chances.

"I wanted to gauge myself against the best players in the world," Blair said. "At my age, I look back and think, 'Six years ago, I could run faster or jump higher.' But it all happens when it's supposed to happen.

"Only with age comes wisdom. I can look back and see the times when I thought I was wise and mature and realize I really wasn't. Now I've seen enough of the world to realize I haven't seen anything. I've learned enough in my life to realize there's so much more to learn."

With that attitude, Blair is preparing for his post-basketball life. He's studying opportunities to represent U.S. players overseas and also has invested through a Costa Rican friend in two professional teams there.

"My goal right now is to evolve gracefully into being an ex-basketball player," he said.

Blair says his love of reading should help in this transition.

"The more you read, the more it broadens your horizons, your imagination, every part of your life," he said in what could be a sound bite for the league's "Read to Achieve" initiative.

"When I first went overseas, the Internet wasn't big. I couldn't afford to call home. There were no international cell phones. So you have to adapt and learn more about yourself. I chose to read."

With his release, Blair is off to his next adventure, perhaps retirement. More likely, he will chase another opportunity overseas, possibly in Russia.

"Not to get all deep, but there's a poem a friend of mine wrote called 'The Road I Take,' " Blair said. "The end of it says:

So what if the road I've taken isn't paved

For it is me, not you, that I have saved

"And that's the way I look at it. I've grown more and matured more as a person because of the road I've traveled. It's, obviously, not as glamorous as the NBA road. But I've been able to provide a very good lifestyle for myself and my family and my children. And that was my goal in the beginning.

"Of course everyone has dreams of being in the NBA. But when you think about what does being in the NBA mean, it's being a professional basketball player. And that I have achieved.

"I'm very proud of what I have done. I have friends from high school who wrote me e-mails just today who said you're the only person who has ever scored an NBA point. I'm proud of that aspect. But I'm even more proud of the things I've accomplished off the court and that I've provided for my family." Blair is a good guy. I'm sure he'll land another contract. I also really hope he goes to Costa Rica and starts getting involved in the league there so as to give it more promise.

ArkadiosV2
10-11-2007, 01:52 PM
My post about Blair this morning in the Russian section:

Joseph Blair has offers from Russia. He might as well accept them to indulge in Pushkin's poetry if we judge from what he said to journalists:


"The end of it says: So what if the road I've taken isn't paved For it is me, not you, that I have saved "

And another thing, what do you mean 'your brother Blair' ?

mvblair
10-11-2007, 05:22 PM
Joseph Blair has offers from Russia. He might as well accept them to indulge in Pushkin's poetry if we judge from what he said to journalists: I'm glad to hear he's got some offers. I'll check that thread out.
And another thing, what do you mean 'your brother Blair' ? Well, Joe and I are both such good players and our last names are Blair, so we're practically brothers. I'm sure I could beat him in a one-on-one game. :cool:

(Don't flame me, I'm being sarcastic. We just share the same last name).

Basket_
10-12-2007, 03:20 PM
krepsinis.net writes that Joseph Blair signed with Vladivostok "Spartak-Primorje" (Russia).

mvblair
10-12-2007, 03:38 PM
krepsinis.net writes that Joseph Blair signed with Vladivostok "Spartak-Primorje" (Russia).
Thanks for the update, B. Is Vladivostok in the Superleague and the ULEB?

Basket_
10-12-2007, 03:43 PM
Thanks for the update, B. Is Vladivostok in the Superleague and the ULEB?
Just in Superleague.

Roy M
10-12-2007, 03:48 PM
hapoel Holon made an offer to Blair.

ArkadiosV2
10-12-2007, 05:20 PM
Vladivostok is in Siberia. Pretty close to US. Heh.

De Ridder
10-12-2007, 08:18 PM
hapoel Holon made an offer to Blair.

From where did you bring it now?

re5pectas
10-13-2007, 12:41 PM
Vladivostok is in Siberia. Pretty close to US. Heh.
Siberia? :eek: I would say much much further:P
In the right down corner :) :rolleyes:
http://www.talpink.lt/images/images/92612map-of-russia.gif (http://www.talpink.lt/images/v.php?id=92612map-of-russia.gif)

MikeMaccabiFan
10-13-2007, 05:18 PM
Vladivostok is in Siberia. Pretty close to US. Heh.
It is close to US, but is not considered Siberia... It's Far East...

mvblair
10-13-2007, 11:53 PM
Vladivostok!? Are you guys serious? Man...that's got to be like basketball purgatory. Seriously, I didn't even know there was a team there. Is it a part of the Superleague?

ArkadiosV2
10-14-2007, 12:03 AM
I read that the Moscow is 14 hours away from Vladivostok, on a plane...

I also heard that Abramovich wanted to make Vladivostok Basketball a Euroleague club. After all he is the Governor of a State somewhere close there.

uRAgan
10-14-2007, 12:23 AM
Vladivostok!? Are you guys serious? Man...that's got to be like basketball purgatory. Seriously, I didn't even know there was a team there. Is it a part of the Superleague?

Yes.
http://fotoplenka.ru/photo/asaus/351427/6612357.gif
Map of the Russian Super League.
In Vladivostok there is a football club;)

They had talks with FIBA.
As a result, FIBA refused.

In pre-season tournament they won the second team of South Korean and chinese club.

mvblair
10-14-2007, 01:25 AM
I just looked up the basketball team there. They offered Paul Shirley a job (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=shirley_paul&id=2258874) apparently. Also, the Celtics' JR Bremer is there now. I suppose it can't be that bad, although it does seem like, well, basketball purgatory.

--Matt

elaj
10-14-2007, 08:06 AM
I just looked up the basketball team there. They offered Paul Shirley a job (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=shirley_paul&id=2258874) apparently. Also, the Celtics' JR Bremer is there now. I suppose it can't be that bad, although it does seem like, well, basketball purgatory.

--MattActually they have quite some "names" there for really, really decent (huge!) money. For example Vladimir Boisa (ex- Siena), Damir Miljković (ex- Dynamo St.Petersburg), Stanislav Makshantsev (ex- Ural Great Perm), Vidas Ginevičius (ex- Žalgiris Kaunas) aren't that cheap players, and from what I heard Boisa got a "massive" contract from them, a deal which he couldn't refuse... Money is not a problem for them... and far from being a purgatory, mvblair. :D

mvblair
10-14-2007, 12:55 PM
Actually they have quite some "names" there for really, really decent (huge!) money. For example Vladimir Boisa (ex- Siena), Damir Miljković (ex- Dynamo St.Petersburg), Stanislav Makshantsev (ex- Ural Great Perm), Vidas Ginevičius (ex- Žalgiris Kaunas) aren't that cheap players It's just wierd that they can get those names. I guess I just didn't expect basketball to be that big out there. I suppose it's just a stereotype that Vladivostok is still a part of the gulags...
and from what I heard Boisa got a "massive" contract from them, a deal which he couldn't refuse... Money is not a problem for them... and far from being a purgatory, mvblair. :D Obviously not!! :)

cheezdoodle
10-14-2007, 02:43 PM
Actually they have quite some "names" there for really, really decent (huge!) money. For example Vladimir Boisa (ex- Siena), Damir Miljković (ex- Dynamo St.Petersburg), Stanislav Makshantsev (ex- Ural Great Perm), Vidas Ginevičius (ex- Žalgiris Kaunas) aren't that cheap players, and from what I heard Boisa got a "massive" contract from them, a deal which he couldn't refuse... Money is not a problem for them... and far from being a purgatory, mvblair. :D

One million Euros for Boisa...

700k dollars for Blair!

MikeMaccabiFan
10-14-2007, 03:31 PM
I fail to understand what this thread has to do with EL&Club Competition forum....:confused:

ArkadiosV2
10-14-2007, 03:38 PM
I'm not really sure where to put this topic. If any moderator wants to move it, feel free.


It doesn't. That's why he wrote this in the beginning of the thread.

elaj
10-14-2007, 05:34 PM
One million Euros for Boisa...
Yep, I got same informations, I was kind of shocked for the first time I heard... but they have to pay such kind of money in order to persuade quality players as Boisa. As I said... money isn't a problem for them.

Buducnost PG
10-14-2007, 06:06 PM
Yep, I got same informations, I was kind of shocked for the first time I heard... but they have to pay such kind of money in order to persuade quality players as Boisa. As I said... money isn't a problem for them.

I am more and more shocked, how much more money all the teams have compared to the teams of Adriatic League. But even with very small budgets compared to others, we are able to build competetive teams.

uRAgan
10-14-2007, 06:18 PM
Russia is vodka and bears. :P
It was surprising, then, what people are afraid of in the United States?
Dirty russians drunkards? :D

ArkadiosV2
10-16-2007, 08:42 AM
Joseph Blair signed his contract with Spartak Primorie Vladivostok.

He will have Sergey Babkov as his coach and Mikhaylov as assistant.

Not to mention that one of his teammates will be one of the forum's favorite, Andrei Fetisov.