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Judge rules DeJuan Blair must pay $53K to jeweler, Spurs ‘uncooperative’ in lawsuit

Apr 10, 2013, 12:21 PM EDT

DeJuan Blair AP

It’s always a little strange to see a professional athlete sued by a business for some amount of money that is small in relation to that player’s salary.

It’s even stranger when that athlete plays for the San Antonio Spurs, a franchise that has a reputation of employing players that typically stay away from this kind of trouble.

A judge ruled that DeJuan Blair must pay over $53,000 to a jewelry store that gave him merchandise on credit more than three years ago, according to a report in the San Antonio Express-News.

Blair hasn’t responded at all, and is scheduled to be deposed next week. If he fails to show up at that point, a warrant could be issued for his arrest.

The items Blair was alleged to receive are as follows:

The store owner said in an affidavit that Blair failed to pay for various items he chose during eight visits between March 10, 2010, and April 10, 2010. One visit topped $11,000 and included a $4,000 diamond watch and $3,000 diamond ring, according to the receipts filed with the lawsuit.

On another visit, Blair picked out more than $12,000 worth of merchandise, including what may be a watch but was only described as a “men’s Gucci with Dia” for $5,946, according to the documents. In all, he owes a total of $53,032.26.

The story gets even weirder.

In addition to Blair being non-responsive, the Spurs organization has been subpoenaed, and hasn’t provided all of the requested documentation.

Cappuccio said the Spurs organization also was served with a subpoena in the case and has not turned over all the responsive documents.

He said that what documents the organization did provide showed Blair appeared to use the jewelry as collateral on a $30,000 loan the Spurs organization gave him.

Cappuccio called the Spurs “uncooperative.” He said the firm is prepared to go to a judge to compel them to hand over documents.

The “$30,000 loan part” seems unnecessary, though it’s unclear if this is a common practice in NBA circles; for example, it could have been an advance on pay which is guaranteed contractually, which seems perfectly reasonable.

Whatever the reason for the legal action, here’s hoping it gets resolved soon. It’s embarrassing for Blair and the Spurs that it’s gotten this far through the legal process with neither player nor team bothering to respond.

  1. russellbandingo - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Throw him in jail. $54000 in jewelry and no return phone calls for 3 years since he got it on credit. That is major grand theft. How bout not hoping it gets sorted out because its emberassing ,maybe hope that the working American that Dejuan Blair stole from gets his money back and not just screwed over by the ultra rich.

  2. michaeljordanseviltwin - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Wow, very detailed post. My first reaction to the title was, “Why should the Spurs cooperate?” But obviously Blair has a little situation on his hands and it seems the Spurs were involved financially. Hopefully the store gets paid for the merch.

  3. decimusprime - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Ok something doesn’t add up here. He took jewelry on credit so he could use that to get cash from the spurs? Last time I checked they were a NBA team not a pawn shop. Why would they need collateral? If they gave him an advance thats one thing but this just seems weird.

  4. shzastl - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    If the $30k loan was a salary advance, then there would have been no need for collateral, because he wouldn’t have to pay it back, the debt would simply be eliminated as he earned it by playing. That would only make sense if they thought there was some legitimate chance he would take the $30k and then stop showing up to work, which makes no sense for someone with a multi million dollar contract. Very strange. Also its a little shady to use as collateral something you haven’t paid for.

  5. bougin89 - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    “Also its a little shady to use as collateral something you haven’t paid for.”

    Exactly. If this is true this is probably just the tip of the iceberg so to speak of Blair’s financial problems.

  6. savvybynature - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Personally don’t see why the Spurs would cooperate and release internal documents to this jewelry store owner; they have done nothing wrong here. Blair on the other hand should have resolved this situation a long time ago, but I’ll reserve judgment since we have only heard from one side in the dispute so far.

    • mazblast - Apr 12, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      They should cooperate because they are legally compelled to do so. That’s part of what a subpoena is about.

      While we haven’t heard from the Spurs, I’m very surprised that they haven’t given full cooperation and that they haven’t forced Blair to get his affairs in order.

      • savvybynature - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        So because the guy suing said the Spurs aren’t being cooperative enough they should just give him whatever he wants?
        It’s really for a judge to decide whether they have “given full cooperation” or spell out for them what is expected. Taking the plaintiffs word on it is a bit naive don’t you think?

  7. edwardemanuelson - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Spend it as fast as ya make it! That’s the way of today’s professional athlete!

    I’m curious how many of these guys live game check to game check.

    • genericcommenter - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      As do 99% of the “regular” people I know, including educated professionals.

  8. anhdazman - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    That’s why the Warriors didn’t trade for him…

  9. shzastl - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Why would the spurs cooperate and release documents? Maybe because there’s a subpoena issued by the court. They could be sanctioned for not responding.

  10. badintent - Apr 11, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    Sounds like Blair is well on his way to joining the AI school of fool and his chains.In NY, a couple of leg breakers would be showing Blair the error of his ways. In Vegas, Blair would fill one hole in the desert.

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