HOUSTON — Andre Drummond can’t change the past. He can only change opinions.
Panned in the lead up to the 2012 NBA Draft, Drummond was billed as a big man with superstar talent but a motor that didn’t match. It’s one of the reasons the 7-footer lasted until the ninth pick, where the Detroit Pistons cashed in with what has turned out to be one of the steals of the entire draft.
Drummond’s work through the pre-All-Star Weekend break of his rookie season has been an eye-opener. In addition to that potential superstar talent, he’s shown off a motor that more than matches. In fact, he’s been lauded by Pistons insiders for being even better than they had hoped in terms of his work ethic and the energy he brings to both practices and games.
A stress fracture in his back will cost Drummond at least a month, and that includes his participation here this weekend for the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. But it won’t deter him from his goal of silencing those who questioned his character and game before the Draft.
“”I think coming into a situation where the game is as fast-paced as NBA games are was beneficial for me to pick things up and move forward,” said Drummond, who averages 7.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in just 19.7 minutes a night. “My coaches and teammates helped me move adjust and nip some of that stuff people had against me in the bud. I think Detroit is a great city, the fans are definitely great out there, and having the right environment to g to work in makes a big difference.”
Drummond is just 19 and with his combination of size (he’s just shy of 300 pounds with just six percent body fat) and skill along with the physicality he brings to the floor, the notion of him being a dominant big man in the league alongside the Pistons’ other budding young frontcourt star Greg Monroe.
The injury to Drummond is setback, but by no means the end to what has been a promising rookie season.
“I want to maintain the effort and energy bring every day and continue to get better,” Drummond said. “We have plans on being a playoff team [someday] and I want to be a big part of helping make that a reality.”