Former Pitt Panthers star DeJuan Blair just wrapped up a month’s work at The Basketball Tournament as a member of Overseas Elite, and he earned $147,000 for his troubles.
On Friday night, Overseas Elite completed a TBT three-peat, topping Challenge ALS 86-83 in the tournament championship. It was a back-and-forth affair with plenty of lead changes, but Overseas Elite pulled ahead with about seven minutes to go in the second half and never let up after that.
Blair, who spent seven seasons in the NBA after leaving Pitt, contributed three rebounds and six points to the win, shooting 2-of-7 from the field. It wasn’t one of his best games, but he did have three memorable outings in the tournament.
He had a decent all-around game on July 8 against the Chattanooga Trenches, amassing seven rebounds, six points, two assists, one block and one steal. And he did even better against the Matadors on July 9 and Ram Nation on July 23, scoring 15 and 10 points, respectively.
However, he also had three off games, including the championship, and that doesn’t bode well for his overarching goal of returning to the NBA, which he shared with the Washington Post on Friday.
“I’m definitely trying to get back into the NBA,” Blair said. “The back door is always the hardest one, so you just got to keep going and keep grinding until something happens.”
Aside from The Basketball Tournament, Blair played his most recent basketball in the NBA’s G League (formerly known as the D-League), and his minutes and production have been in fairly steady decline since his third season in the NBA.
While there were moments when he shined over the last month, his lingering inconsistencies might ultimately hamstring his efforts to make the leap back onto an NBA roster.