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Old 04-10-13, 04:15 PM
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Judge rules Spurs player must pay $53k to jeweler

By Michelle Mondo

Spurs center DeJuan Blair is scheduled to be deposed next week after a judge ruled he must pay more than $53,000 to Rivercenter Jewelers for merchandise the store allowed him to take on credit nearly three years ago, according to court documents and the attorney representing the jewelry store.

If Blair fails to show on Wednesday or continues to ignore the lawsuit that was first filed in October, the judge could find him in contempt and issue a warrant for his arrest.

Blair, 23, has filed no responding documents to the lawsuit, hasn’t appeared in court and in February a default judgment was issued in favor of the store.

A Spurs spokesman declined comment Tuesday. The general counsel for the Spurs referred questions to his agent Happy Walters.

Walters didn’t return two messages left at his Los Angeles agency.

Elliott Cappuccio, the attorney representing the store’s owner Zareem Merchant, said he had been in contact with the Spurs’ general counsel and Blair’s agent but never heard anything back.

“I assume he’s been advised of his rights and what a problem this is for him,” Cappuccio said.

“But he personally has not contacted me or my client and has not made any attempt (to respond to the lawsuit).”

The store owner said in an affidavit that Blair failed to pay for various items he chose during eight visits between March 10, 2010, and April 10, 2010. One visit topped $11,000 and included a $4,000 diamond watch and $3,000 diamond ring, according to the receipts filed with the lawsuit.

On another visit, Blair picked out more than $12,000 worth of merchandise, including what may be a watch but was only described as a “men’s Gucci with Dia” for $5,946, according to the documents. In all, he owes a total of $53,032.26

Cappuccio said given the NBA player’s salary, no one at the store thought the payments would be an issue.

Blair first signed with the team in 2009 and by the time his contract expires he will have earned $3.808 million over four years.

Cappuccio said the Spurs organization also was served with a subpoena in the case and has not turned over all the responsive documents.

He said that what documents the organization did provide showed Blair appeared to use the jewelry as collateral on a $30,000 loan the Spurs organization gave him.

Cappuccio called the Spurs “uncooperative.” He said the firm is prepared to go to a judge to compel them to hand over documents.

Rest of the story: Spurs Nation
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