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Andre Drummond organizing young Pistons for Auburn Hills workouts

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

Andre Drummond turned 20 this month and now he’s starting to flex his leadership muscles. Seeing the dividends that spending much of the summer before his rookie season working out in Auburn Hills under Pistons assistant coaches yielded, he urged the three 2013 draftees to show up early, as well.

“I got Peyton (Siva) to come to town, Tony’s (Mitchell) coming in the next day or two and Kentavious (Caldwell-Pope), too,” Drummond said. “I’m making sure all the rookies come in. Last year, I was here real early. I’m like, ‘You guys need to get here early. Just because you made it to the league, don’t think you can come back when all the veterans come back.’ ”

After Siva experienced his first brisk workout, he acknowledged to Drummond that he felt winded and was happy to have the six weeks until training camp opens to acclimate.

“And I told him, ‘It’s only going to get worse. As soon as training camp comes, it’s running times 10.’ So I’m glad to have him out here with me and the other rookies will be here soon, too.”

Andre Drummond has exceeded my wildest expectations.

On the court, he reached a level as a rookie, albeit in limited minutes, that I hoped he would reach at the peak of his career.

Off the court, he’s completely blown me away. His positive energy was a welcome presence last season, and now he’s apparently added leadership.

He’s really the complete package.

So much has been written lately about Tracy McGrady, who retired after an NBA career – including one season with the Pistons – that saw his teams fail to achieve much post-season success. No doubt, McGrady was a great player, a borderline Hall of Famer, and on one hand, it’s easy to say McGrady carried often subpar supporting casts as far as he could, even if that meant only to the first round of the playoffs. On the other hand, McGrady lead didn’t in a way a team’s top player is often responsible for handling. In that sense, I’m inclined to blame McGrady for his team’s shortcomings more than the numbers would suggest, because his personality was ill-suited to commanding the best from his team in the most pivotal situations.

In other words, McGrady helped his teams by producing at high levels while also holding them back by refusing to instill a competitive atmosphere. McGrady could excel while laid back, and that’s the vibe his teams mostly carried, but few others play their best in that environment.

The Pistons are extremely fortunate to have a player of Drummond’s ability, everything else not withstanding. If he’s truly developing into the type of leader that befits a team’s best player, the Pistons are even better positioned than I thought.

24 Comments

  • Sep 3, 20137:39 am
    by Zeiram

    Reply

    Is this real? I admit I am a little bit scared. Everybody loves Drummond, everybody loves his personality, his skills, his mad dating skills.

    He is the most hyped Piston player I can remember (I´m young and foreing, my first real Piston love already featured Big Ben) and I don´t know what to think of that. Big Ben was beloved but he already “fell” in to our laps as a somewhat developed player. Yes he was a suprise but there was no waiting period to know if this was for real. Stuckey was propably the most hyped Piston rookie before Drummond but that was mostly internal and he was a bitter disappointment. Moose was a nice surprise but never inspired national rave to the levels that Drummond does.

    If I am to believe all that is being said about Drummond right now he will save my beloved team all the while smiling and adorabley dating tv stars. I don´t know how to handle that but right now it feels awesome all the same.

  • Sep 3, 20138:00 am
    by Mark

    Reply

    Absolutely love this kid

  • Sep 3, 20138:03 am
    by Windy

    Reply

    Joe seems to as of late looked to draft kids with strong character and work ethic…drafting Monroe, Knight, Singler, Jerebko, KCP, Dre, Siva are signs of this…I like the direction…high basketball IQ and leadership can help turn this team around In a big way
     

    • Sep 3, 201311:25 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Yep, just ask Dumars. Everyone he has ever drafted was probably the highest character guy in the draft… (eye roll)

      • Sep 3, 20131:24 pm
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        off topic…I never understood the no motor thing with Drummond…

        I remember watch UConn play against the Cuse’ and he made the zone defense look foolish, and I remember when soo much hype was around Fab Melo, before the suspension he he killed Fab Melo…

        People got caught up in all of that Motor talk..because of how Thomas robinson and Gilchrist …but no one stop to look at that train wreck of a team Uconn had…

        we got real lucky…all because of media hype

        • Sep 3, 20131:29 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          You’re right that UConn was a mess. But Detroit has been too. It’s amazing how well he has been able to perform as a Piston given his struggles as a Husky.

          • Sep 3, 20134:50 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            Yeah…. but Detroit had blue collar hard working guys, Maxiell, Knight, Greg, Singler, Bynum, hell even Stuckey … We  had a horrible coach, who Calhoun could coach circles around…but Calhoun injury took him out of the loop, and remember reading that the assistant coaches never really worked with Drummond.

            So yes I agree it is impressive, but when u read about what he did in Prep Basketball its not as surprising

          • Sep 3, 20136:03 pm
            by tarsier

            I’m pretty confident there were some good guys at UConn too.  But that’s neither her nor there. I’m really glad he struggled in college. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be a Piston.

  • Sep 3, 20139:13 am
    by gmehl

    Reply

    All I can say is geez we really lucked out getting this kid. I bet the Raptors kick themselves every day that they didn’t take him instead of Terrence Ross. A young up and coming front court of Drummond and Vaclulanious could’ve been great for them. Yes both are probably 5′s but then again so is Moose.

  • Sep 3, 201311:20 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    haven’t posted in awhile….

    Drummond can be so special….but all of this off court stuff is great but it will mean nuffin if he doesnt produce on the court…

    he needs to become a dominate rebounder and shot blocking presence…. then he will live up to the 2 year hype…

    • Sep 3, 20132:39 pm
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      Even if he only plays as well as he did last year, but for more minutes, he will exceed the expectations that they had for him when he was drafted.

      With all the work it seems he is putting in to becoming a better player and hopefully a better coach in place, he will live up to the player we are hoping he will become.

      I just hope that he never get’s bigger than the game.  Dwight Howard was loved by all in his early days, but now his ego is getting the best of him now.

    • Sep 3, 20134:01 pm
      by Anthony J.

      Reply

      Welcome back.

      Drummond definetly is a special player. How many 6’10, near 300 pound centers do you see running the floor like a gazelle? Good defense, pretty good motor, great athleticism. The one thing he should improve on this year is just conditioning (he still seemed a bit winded at times during summer league) and his offensive arsenal. Those two things are definetly things that is pretty easy for him to do. This year we should get a better picture of the player Drummond will be. Last year he was robbed of minutes and we were robbed of 23 games (i believe) due to his back injury. This season should be the season where he “breaks out” barring any sophomore slumps.

      BTW, will you change your name to I HATE MO next? haha   

  • Sep 3, 20136:22 pm
    by Giles

    Reply

    Does it make you stones fans worry that we will loose drummond at the end of it all..instead of a dwightmare we will have the andrepocalypse…or some thing in 6 years…..it’s like he already is to big for detroit…

    • Sep 3, 20139:33 pm
      by hoophabit

      Reply

      Guys like you show up on all the fan boards now and either tell Piston fans that AD $ucks, or that he should be traded now while his value is so high, or that there’s no way he’d ever stay in Detroit.  Truth is we don’t really know what will happen.  Will he be that great?  Who can tell?  If he is that great I guess we’ll worry about that down the road. 

    • Sep 3, 201311:16 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      because no great players have ever played in detroit, right?

      • Sep 4, 20133:01 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Well, Isiah stayed even though he didn’t want to when he was drafted.  And Grant Hill left.   Only true superstars Detroit ever had.  Oh, and the best player from the 04 group Big Ben left for the big city of Chicago when he hit free agency so whether the Pistons can keep Drummond if he becomes a true superstar is a real issue to worry about.   It’s all about character though so we have to hope Drummond has some of Duncan’s good sense and loyalty in him.   Dumars is probably right to always be searching for high character players to draft because a low character superstar like Dwight Howard would never stay in Detroit once he could leave–Howard probably can’t even spell or pronounce the words loyalty or commitment. 

        • Sep 4, 20134:10 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Ben Wallace left because Chicago offered more money. At the end of the day, the vast majority of FAs go where the money is best.

          • Sep 4, 201310:43 pm
            by Max

            I wonder whether Ben is happy he made that decision.   He got slightly more money and wound up moving a few times.   Uprooting yourself and your family has costs financially and otherwise and the Chicago fans hated the deal he got and shit on him.  I wouldn’t doubt that if he had it all to do over again that he would have signed the richest deal in Pistons’ history and stayed in Detroit.  

          • Sep 4, 201311:35 pm
            by gmehl

            @tasier
            “Ben Wallace left because Chicago offered more money”

            I’m sure money was a big reason but I always thought Ben left mainly due to Flip Saunders and they way he was utilizing him on the court. Ben hated Saunders from what i’ve heard and i’m pretty sure was quoted that he would’ve stayed if they’d fired him. I guess with how quickly Ben declined after signing that deal Joe was kind of lucky that Ben didn’t re-up with us.

          • Sep 5, 201310:03 am
            by tarsier

            Max and gmehl,
            I agree with both of your responses.

            Also, allow me to clarify. When I say most FAs go where the money is best, I don’t mean that the only concern is their bank account. But being offered more money will typically make a player look more important and feel more valued. Those are strong psychological motivators.

          • Sep 6, 20132:20 pm
            by Max

            I agree with you, Tarsier, but I think this is the downside to paying players less than they are worth in their prime which you keep saying is so necessary.  Players like Ben Wallace and Scottie Pippen who win championships or even just win a lot and get talked about for years as being as being underpaid wind up resenting it and expect to be overcompensated when their next contract comes around if they are still holding it together.   I see the the Pistons losing Ben as the end of negotiation where Dumars was trying to give him a great contract but not the max and Wallace wanted the max.  The Bulls spitefully stepped in and overpaid for him by just paying him a little more and Wallace took it out of hurt pride that Dumars didn’t give him the max for his years of being underpaid.  

            I just wonder if it’s so great to have your best players feeling resentful.  Think about when Jordan retired. So much shit had built up by the time the team won 6 titles together that Jordan quit too early when they could have kept going and there was not even the question of retaining a still elite Pippen or still great Rodman or all time great coach Phil Jackson out of petty resentments and animosities between them and management.   

            Poor Toni Kukoc at the Olympics and the way Pippen treated him on the Bulls is sometimes what underpaying gets you.     

          • Sep 7, 20133:36 pm
            by tarsier

            You really think a player would harbor more resentment about being called underpaid than overpaid?

    • Sep 4, 201310:47 am
      by Huddy

      Reply

      Dwight Howard is a very specific case and his career has much more to do with him than his level of stardom.  Every superstar player does not act like Dwight, which is why people were surprised that he wasn’t interested in staying in LA.  Andre staying with the team will likely have more to do with how successful the team becomes around him if he even become the type of player to request a trade.  Planning for a player possible demanding a trade 6 years from now makes about zero sense.

    • Sep 6, 20131:49 pm
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      Can’t you just be happy for the present?  You’re already worrying about something that may not even be an issue 6 years from now.

      I know too many people that will always look at the bad in every situation.  They can even get a raise at work and the first thing they say is that it isn’t enough, when everyone else is taking pay cuts, just to keep their job.

      I always try to look at the positive on anything.  My wife and I have been laid off several times in the past several years and each time it happens, I always think of it as an opportunity to find a better job than the last one.  Sometime it’s hard when you go a long time without finding anything, but the way I always try to look at is that everything happens for a reason.

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