On a roster that is returning almost completely intact from last season, rookie guard Nando DeColo is doing his best to fit in with his new teammates.
That's easier said than done for someone who is working to improve his English, understand a different culture, and adapt his game and style of play to a team that has a history of success.
"I work every day trying to get better with English", says the 25 year old newcomer. "It helps having players from the French National team here (Boris Diaw and Tony Parker) and it also helps me that the Spurs play similar to a European style of basketball. More teamwork and less one on one."
DeColo spent three years in the ACB, the league based in Spain that is widely considered to be the best in Europe. He averaged 13 points for Valencia, then joined Diaw and Parker as the trip represented France in the London Olympics.
Although Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has downplayed DeColo's role on this season's squad because of the depth the Spurs enjoy in the backcourt, Nando has shown flashes of what he can do with creative passing, sharp ballhandling skills, and keen overall court vision. DeColo would like to contribute, but also knows he is in a learning process.
"I have worked very hard for the past three seasons to make it here, so now I listen to my coaches and teammates to get better", says DeColo, "I am very happy to be with the Spurs."