Q&A with DeJuan Blair: His Weight Dropping and Stock Rising to Lottery

Ryan MillerCorrespondent IJune 12, 2009

NEW YORK - MARCH 15:  DeJuan Blair #45 of the Pittsburgh Panthers reacts after a play against the Georgetown Hoyas during the final of the 2008 Big East Men's Basketball Championship at Madison Square Garden on March 15, 2008 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)


Here is the link to the video of the interview with DeJuan Blair.



You weighed in at 276?! How much weight did you lose?

This morning I saw that I said, “Oh, man!” because I went to Phoenix and they weighed me and I was 289. That was three days ago. I don’t know what I did but it was cool.




Some people think your weight could be an issue

A lot of people are saying that weight can be an issue, but I’m not going to let that be an issue. That’s not going to bring me down. I like the way my body looks. I like the way I feel, and I’m going to keep it up. I’m going to stay healthy and I’m addicted to the weight room now, so that’s all I do.




What’s been the difference? Diet? Exercise?

Both. My nutritionist is on my hard. No more candy bars and no more fried chicken from Primanti Brothers. There’s a lot of things I don’t eat. I’m trying to keep this diet on a high protein and low carbs, and trying to stay in shape that way. It’s going to be pretty good.




Some people say you made a mistake by signing so early and that you should’ve waited to see where you were in the draft

I don’t think so. I think that’s something that they just wanted to see me in college again or might’ve thought I wasn’t ready for it.


There are a lot of things that people couldn’t went from, but I think I’m ready for it. I’m trying to adjust to it, trying to adjust to the NBA life. It’s going to be great.


Like I said before, if your dreams in front of you, why not go and reach for it. You never know what can happen. My dream was in front of me, I reached and grabbed it, and I’m holing on to it tight.




With a lack of height, you’ve got to want to mix it up with a lot of bigger guys to excel down low

Yeah, I love going against taller players because it brings my toughness out. I can be physical.


If someone’s smaller than me like you all saw in college, they’re dropping down, it’s a foul and I’m out.


I can’t wait to go to the NBA because everybody’s big and huge, and it’s a physical game. I think I’m stepping into home, that’s how I feel.




Where’d you get the physical mindset from?

I just got that from when I was younger and playing against older players. Being from my neighborhood and coming up hard.


I came from nothing. When you come from nothing you’ve got to work your way around and be tough. Pittsburgh is tough, period. If you can survive through there, you can survive anything.




Was one of the reasons you turned pro because of your physical superiority at the college level?

Yeah. Like I said, my dream was in front of me and I had a chance to go do it. Why not go do it?


I did everything in college. Our team was going to be great with me. I could’ve got the All-American again and the Naismith and all of that, but I just wanted to go to the NBA. I felt it was the right move signing an agent.


A lot of people were mad but they’re not in my shoes. I’m just having fun. This is the funnest time of my life, doing what I love to do, playing basketball. I’m just working out and trying to be the best man I could.




What did college teach you? What was the biggest lesson?

College taught me how to be mature. You can go to class and they’re not going to tell you what to do. They give you a blackboard with a whole bunch of writing and you learn it and do it all over again.


It taught me a lot of maturity and it taught me how to become a man. Nobody woke me up or took me to practice or do anything, so that’s just another step from high school.


It was pretty fun coming to college and adapting, adapting to people coming from New York and Philly and becoming a family. I like it.


I’m a beautiful teammate so I like to be cool with my teammates because if you don’t got them, what do you got?




You’ve been compared to Shaq personality-wise in terms of being outgoing. Is that something that you think you can bring to a team?

Of course. I love to smile because God woke me up this morning. He woke me up for a reason, to go out there and have fun and do what you do.


You’ve got to have personality. I love to have fun with the media, with my family and with my teammates. You’ve got to make them feel comfortable.


I think I should make y’all feel comfortable just like you make me feel comfortable.




How often do you think about “the play” (giving up the game-winning basket to Scottie Reynolds and Villanova in the Elite Eight)?

I don’t think about it at all. I don’t even know what happened. Can you tell me what happened? I forgot what happened. I don’t even think I was on the court.




NBA Pre-draft Combine Results

Height w/o shoes: 6' 5.25"
Height w/ shoes: 6' 6.5"
Weight: 277
Wingspan: 7' 2"
Standing Reach: 8' 10.5"
Body Fat: 12.0 percent
No Step Vert. 26.0
Max Vert. 33.0
Bench Press: 18
Lane Agility: 11.50
3/4 Court Sprint: 3.45 sec.


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