They still talk often, and still call each other by the same goofy nicknames they bestowed on each other as teammates in San Antonio.
“That’s Big and Smalls,” Indiana point guard George Hill said.
Big — that paradoxically would be Hill — has moved on to a new life running the Pacers.
Smalls — that would be Spurs big man DeJuan Blair — has melted into a sometimes-frustrating experience at the end of coach Gregg Popovich’s bench.
Unleashed at last Monday night, Smalls came up big in the Spurs’ 101-79 shellacking of the Pacers — with Big in the building no less.
Handed 29 minutes, 10 seconds of playing time, after not playing at all in two of three games coming in, Blair responded with 14 points and 11 rebounds to spark a dominating night for the Spurs’ bench.
With 17 points from Gary Neal — on 8-of-10 shooting — and another 12 from Stephen Jackson, the Spurs’ subs outscored Indiana’s 57-35. The victory at the AT&T Center lifted the Spurs to 4-0 for the first time in team history, a curiously overdue feat for the most successful NBA franchise of the past 15 years.