The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 14, 2014

Marco Belinelli emerges as next great role player for San Antonio

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“That really helped me a lot,” he said of Ginobili’s ability to speak Italian. “It helped me to learn how to play in the system, how to understand the system on offense, on defense. How to understand what Pop wanted from the players.

“Everything for me, after about two months, was easy. The system on offense is not difficult. We just try to move the ball all the time, try to play together like crazy. We really love to move the ball. And on defense, just play hard, play hard.”

Belinelli, who first played with Ginobili as a teenager in Italy 13 years ago, has returned the favor by giving the Spurs’ second unit another versatile, instinctive player. His presence has helped Ginobili bounce back from a shaky regular season last year with renewed life.

And Ginobili’s game isn’t the only thing that has come back. His Italian has, too.

“I was starting to lose it,” Ginobili said with a chuckle. “The fact that he’s new in the system, that he needed to figure things out, I can help him with that and meanwhile I practice my Italian. Even though under pressure a few times I have been very confusing with the Spanish and English, because with Tiago (Splitter) I speak Spanish. And I said some things that I still can’t understand. But it’s been great to have somebody that I know for so long.”

It’s been quite a two-year span for Belinelli from an education standpoint. He has played for Popovich and Thibodeau, widely regarded as two of the league’s very best coaches, in that time and watched his game take off because of it.

“Amazing. They are different, but at the same time, they are the best coaches in the league,” Belinelli said. “For me, Thibodeau was great and everybody knows that Pop is the best coach in the league.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Cardinals Red Sox Trade Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joe Castiglione lends hardwood expertise to new football playoff committee

    Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione serves on the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee and will be the committee chair for the 2015-16 season....

    August 1, 2014

  • Norman football a hotbed for quarterbacks

    While Norman High searches for a new quarterback to take the reins, Norman North is entering the preseason with one of the most talented quarterbacks in the state in Oklahoma State commit John Kolar....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Coaches rank Sooners No. 3

    The preseason USA Today coaches’ poll was released on Thursday. Oklahoma came in at No. 3....

    August 1, 2014

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Oakland lands Lester, Gomes in exchange for Cespedes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

Facebook