DeJuan Blair ejected after kicking Tiago Splitter (Video)

DeJuan Blair head kickDeJuan Blair was a huge force in leading the Dallas Mavericks’ Game 4 comeback against the San Antonio Spurs, but all the momentum he brought to the team and arena was lost when he was ejected with 3:08 left in the game after kicking Tiago Splitter.

Blair was hit with a technical and then ejected by the officials after the play was reviewed. He had 12 points and 11 rebounds in 16 minutes and provided a huge spark for Dallas.

It’s unfortunate that he was ejected when you know he was most likely just reacting in the heat of the moment and not intending to actually hurt Splitter, but the ejection was warranted.

DeJuan Blair Scores on His Own Basket

The Spurs lost to the Celtics Thursday night, 90-83. With under a minute left, Richard Jefferson made a shot to bring the Spurs within four, 87-83. After Kevin Garnett missed an outside jumper and Tony Parker had his layup blocked by Rajon Rondo, San Antonio had to begin fouling to stop the clock in hopes of coming back. The Celtics made 3 of 4 free throws to pull out a seven point win but the bottom line is the Spurs had a prayer after that Jefferson bucket. Considering that brought them within four, imagine how much tighter the game would have been had DeJuan Blair not tipped a defensive rebound into his own net! Here’s the first quarter video of DeJuan Blair scoring on his own basket:

The difference between Blair’s gaffe and Nate Robinson’s mistake from a few games ago was intent: Blair was trying to gather a rebound and knocked it into his net; Robinson intentionally shot at his own basket. Blair actually had a strong game going 9-11 for 18 points and 11 rebounds in 21 minutes. You know the draft day steal wishes he had that one back.

DeJuan Blair Is Considering a Future in Football as a Backup Plan

I fell in love with DeJuan Blair as an athlete, so to speak, when Pitt beat UConn on the road during in February. In that game, Blair outplayed UConn’s vaunted front court, dominating Thabeet for 22 points and 23 boards. That game really opened my eyes as to what kind of player Blair was and his abilities gave me the confidence to select Pitt as the team I thought would win it all. Naturally we all saw how that played out. Anyway, apparently Blair knows how skilled of an athlete he is and how rare his wide and bulky 6’7″ 265lb frame is. He thinks it could give him a career in football if the whole basketball thing doesn’t work out.

Blair hasn’t completely put his gridiron aspirations to bed.

As a 6-7 post player, an NBA future isn’t a certainty. And with Antonio Gates having drawn the blueprint, Blair admits he has thought about an NFL future as a tight end or defensive end.

“That’s my Plan B,” Blair said.

Aaron Wilson at PFT pointed that story out to me because it related to the news of a Cleveland State basketball player who plans to try out for some NFL teams. Apparently football has interested Blair all along but he had two torn ACLs in high school that prevented him from playing back then. Maybe some NBA team won’t be scared off by the knee injury history. They shouldn’t be; I see a lot of Elton Brand in him. (Or is that only because they look alike?)