Sixers' Vander Blue only thinking about playing basketball

Posted: October 07, 2013

BILBAO, Spain - Vander Blue hasn't been much of a thinker since signing with the 76ers.

"I just play ball," he said. "That's all I know how to do."

The undrafted rookie free agent believes that's the best way for him to remain on the Sixers roster.

So the 6-foot-4 guard, whose team takes on Bilbao Basket here at noon Sunday, doesn't think about the encouraging comments he receives from coach Brett Brown. Nor does he allow himself to reflect on being a reserve wing the Sixers might depend on this season.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time," said Blue, who signed a multiyear, partially guaranteed deal last month. "I never try to think too far ahead and just start controlling what I can control."

Going undrafted in June might have something to do with his mind-set.

The Madison, Wis., native left Marquette after his junior season believing he would be selected in the second round. compared Blue with former NBA guard Kendall Gill after he averaged 14.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals last season.

"I don't know what happened," Blue said of not getting drafted. "There's a lot more things that go into the draft than basketball. So I don't know.

"But the draft is over. And I'm ready to get my professional career started."

He eventually chose the Sixers over the Miami Heat's free-agent offer.

Blue realized the Sixers are in the beginning stages of a rebuilding process. With that, he knew that there would be plenty of opportunity for immediate playing time. Meanwhile, Blue would have probably had a tough time making the Heat's roster. And even if he did, he would have been an end-of-the-bench reserve for the two-time defending NBA champions.

"I think I can bring a lot of things" to the Sixers, he said. "I'm a dog. I'm a terror. And the way I play and the way I go about the game, going hard every possession."

His best attribute this far has been his tenacious on-ball defense. He also has impressed Brown with athleticism and shooting ability.

"He has the combination of toughness and competitiveness," Brown said. "And the fact that he can get out on the open court is exciting in a young player."



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