The players involved in the final game of Wednesday night's Pro-Am League in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club got a special treat. One of its most heralded members made a return performance.
DeJuan Blair—who spent two summers in the Pro-Am League as a member of the Pitt Panthers, and prior to that in the high school league while going to Schenley High School—made a special return to the league on Wednesday night.
Blair joined up with the UPMC team. Even though he added 9 points and 12 rebounds, his team was on the short end of a 73-60 loss to PGT. Blair was just 4-of-17 from the field.
The biggest thing facing Blair and all the other NBA players right now, is a potential lockout. Blair said he's not allowed to comment on the lockout itself, but did say playing in the Pro-Am League isn't a bad option for the time being.
"I might be here a couple of times," Blair said after his game on Wednesday night. "I'll just keep playing here. There's no lockout here."
Lockout aside, it was a chance for Blair to see some former teammates. Interestingly, the only former teammates of his in the league this summer—Ashton Gibbs, Travon Woodall and Nasir Robinson—weren't playing in his game. Everyone playing in his game Wednesday—Talib Zanna, J.J. Moore and freshmen Khem Birch and Durand Johnson—was not a part of the program during his time, despite the fact that Blair declared early for the NBA Draft just two years ago.
Though it was a little tough for him to get a read on the younger players, he did offer a fair assessment for having only shared the court with them for 44 minutes.
"A lot of good energy," Blair said of his impression of the freshmen. "They're still learning, though. They're learning a lot. I'm going to try to play a little bit more with them and try to get them a little bit better.
"I was impressed with them, but I've never seen them play (before). There wasn't one that just stuck out. They're always playing like freshmen."
Blair landed in Pittsburgh Wednesday night, then went straight to the Greentree SportsPlex to take part in Wednesday night's finale. As soon as that game ended around 10:30 pm, he said he was off to play in another pickup game.
"It's fun, it was a good run," Blair said of coming back. I actually just got here, just about an hour (before his game started). It's cool. There's a lot of fans up in here. I didn't get to play the game I wanted, but it was the first time I played in two or three months."