Life is good for Jeff (Pendergraph) Ayres

Jim Boylen (left), Jeff Ayres, and other Spurs talk prior to Monday’s game in Indianapolis.

Life is good for Jeff Ayres. (That’s Pendergraph, or Pendy, to you.)

He’s in the second year of a two-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs, after two seasons in Indy. He and his wife, Raneem, are doing well. Their 20-month-old daughter, Naomi, who was born during the 2013 NBA Playoffs, is “getting bigger every day.”

To top it all off, they are expecting a boy in late May.

In his third stop and fifth NBA season, Pendy is appreciating life more than ever. (Yes, he’ll always be Pendy to us in Indy. He still gets called it all the time. “I still call myself Pendy sometimes,” he joked.)

“It’s an exciting time,” he said in the hallway before his Spurs beat the Pacers by two on Monday night. “There are a lot more important things in life than basketball. Being married and having one kid already, and another coming keeps that in perspective.”

Pendy is a very laid-back, yet thoughtful and caring individual. He and Orlando Johnson were perhaps the two most liked and approachable players in those locker room.He enjoyed his time with the Pacers.

Two close friends, Ayres and Ian Mahinmi, catching up.

In the summer of 2013, he was hopeful to return. However, the Pacers only offered a minimum-level deal, whereas the Spurs gave him two-years guaranteed. The then-25-year-old opted for the better deal and to learn from the greatness of Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan.

In his first year on the team, the Spurs dethroned the two-time champion Miami Heat. And it wasn’t even close.

“It was cool, man,” he said of their playoff run last spring. “It wasn’t something that I wasn’t really expecting. Guys on the team were expecting it because of what happened the year before. Just to be a part of it and to see how well everybody played, how we all played together. Lot of hard work went into it and then just to see us peak at the opportune moment in the playoffs, it was just awesome to see. It was a good to be a part of it.”

Defeating Miami for the ring was special for everyone — the Spurs lost to them in the Finals the year before — and for Pendy, it was finally triumph after so many challenges against the Heat years prior as a Pacer.

“Oh, man. Yes, it was (extra special),” he said. “They [his teammates] had their own desire to do it because they lost to them in the Finals. My desire (to knock them off) was from being here. I felt like going into the season that was one thing we had in common. I know I was the new guy, but as much as they hate to lose and how their season went the year before with Miami, I had it for two years the same way.”

Pendy did not play on Monday. He’s only seen the court in 30 of their 52 games this season after playing in 73 last year. Whatever they need, and whenever called upon, he’s ready. Getting appropriate minutes was a challenge in Indy, and it remains one in San Antonio. I mean, the starting center is a sure-thing Hall of Famer.

Being back in Indy, Pendy enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces, sharing hugs with ushers, security folks, and former teammates. After the team celebrated coach Popovich’s 1,000th win at St. Elmo, he hoped to get together with some of his old pals.

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