Originally Posted by tuncaboylu
It's not related with the contract year. Who claims it doesn't know anything about Splitter.
Tiago was a semi-god in Europe and there was a Tiago Church in Baskonia (the city of Tau Ceramica-Caja Laboral). He was getting too many money there, the biggest clubs of Europe (like CSKA, Olympiakos, Barcelona) were running after him. But he decided to come NBA at 25 years old (for less money) to be a bench player. Because he's ambitious and wants to prove himself. He would get more money in Europe recent 3 years.
He became zero from hero in NBA. In his first year he didn't average more than 13 minutes in the field. He didn't give up, didn't think heading back to Europe. And at last he founded the playing time and he's rocking now.
The money was not a big factor in Splitter's career selections. He always wanted to prove himself and become better. Now he's better.
That's why he won't take money and sit on it. He will play hard even he gets the big paycheck.
i'll agree with you that he was a big deal, but did he play as aggressive as he is now over there? Europe is known as a softer country when it comes to basketball. there was a rumor or report a bit ago that the guy couldn't even bench 25lbs on each side, that's extremely weak for anyone who wants to be fit.
my point with that is the guy gets pushed around. he really had no motivation to play this hard as before. since you take to know Splitter better than most (from ur post), let me ask you this from a basketball stand point and not from a Splitter argument:
1. how does the "level of comfort" matter with rolling to the basket?
the guy would set perfect screens from the start, except this time he's running to the basket and putting a shot up. before this season, he didn't use a reverse layup, something he uses consistently now. when he gets the ball in the paint, he puts up the shot quickly off the glass instead of the last 2 years where he'd second guess everything. i seriously doubt his comfort level with the team would effect if he'd put up the closest shot on the court as fast as he could unless he thought he should pass it.
2. how does a lack of minutes (even though he'd average 10+mpg) make a difference on his style of play?
i can get why Bonner would be effected because he has to shoot to get comfortable, the only thing he's known for. Tiago is different, he doesn't have to get into rhythm to play because he doesn't shoot. He got a few starting assignments next to Duncan vs. the Grizzlies 2 years ago and he still didn't show anything after Pop gave him the chance.
if Tiago's reasoning for "getting better" is that he's starting, that would make a boatload more sense because he might not be a bench player (i.e. Hedo in 2004), but that still wouldn't explain the many times he has started in the last 2 years where he didn't show anything close. The Spurs were still looking to run and they still needed help on the inside because Duncan has been a jump shooter for the past 3 years.
the level of play in Europe isn't the same. if it was, a lot more players would have an easier transition to the NBA. while we think the NBA has "gotten soft" lately, it's still stiffer than Europe will probably ever be. i'm pretty sure there hasn't been a Dwight Howard or Z-Bo type player who's abused Splitter in the past before. maybe the guy finally went to the gym to get stronger, who knows?....but the argument that he's "finally" comfortable in a scheme that all he's been asked to do is pick and roll on offense or cut to the basket after 2 years isn't legit at all.