Stakes higher, so Blair sacrifices favorite foods

It is an experience so painful, DeJuan Blair has to close his eyes each time he passes the familiar, orange and white A-frame building.

With the NBA playoffs under way, the Spurs big man is on the No Whataburger Diet.

Blair said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pulled him aside a few weeks ago and conferred with him about how best to approach the playoffs.

The coach had one emphatic request: Drop some weight and get in better shape.

A self-professed fast-food junkie, Blair arrived in San Antonio from Pittsburgh and quickly discovered the joys of Whataburger.

Now he sounds like a man in a 12-step program.

“I’m not eating anything and I’ve changed from eating everything,” he said.

His dietary regimen is not a fast. It just feels that way.

“I just eat a lot of salads; eat a lot of little portions of a lot of things,” he said. “Portions, keep your metabolism up and drink a lot of water and you’ll be great.

“But no juice, no Whataburger with Strawberry Fanta.”

So far, he said, he has lost between 15 and 20 pounds in a little more than two weeks. Maintaining dietary discipline is easy, he said, because the stakes are so high.

“Pop told me they were going to need me,” Blair said. “I’ve got to be ready at all times.”

Blair’s assignment in the first-round series against the Grizzlies most often matches him against the Grizzlies’ beefy scoring leader, Zach Randolph. He admits the extra weight he was carrying about the time the Spurs lost to the Grizzlies in Memphis on March 27 proved Popovich’s point.

“I was huge,” he said. “Yes, fat. Now, I just try to get all the fat off and try to make it into muscle with cardio and running and all that.

“I feel great.”

R.J.’S LAMENT: In the run-up to Game 2, Richard Jefferson said he still hadn’t gotten over missing an open 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have forced overtime in Game 1.

Jefferson finished with a solid 13 points and six rebounds, and was 4 of 6 from the field, but his final attempt from the top of the key hit the back of the iron.

“I would take that shot any game, any day,” Jefferson said. “I’ve missed bigger shots and made bigger shots than that one. You just chalk it up to the game.”

DADDY BATTIER: Grizzlies forward Shane Battier spent Monday and Tuesday in Houston with his wife, Heidi, and the daughter Heidi delivered on Sunday evening, not long after Battier’s 3-point shot proved to be the game-winner in Game 1. He was expected back in San Antonio by Tuesday evening, and Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said he did not believe Battier’s missing the two practice sessions would be much of a setback for the veteran.

“Yesterday was basically a day off. We watched film and we talked about some adjustments. Today we came out and did them. He wasn’t able to get back today but I’m pretty sure he’ll pick up the adjustments and he’ll be fine.”

Leave a Reply