The Sixers introduced their newly signed backup center this morning in which he shed some light on his potential role on the team and what went into the decision to come to Philly. The 27-year-old has averaged 14.5 points, 13.7 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.5 steals per game throughout his career. Andre Drummond showed positive signs about accepting his role and discussed why any bad blood can be left in the past.
Relationship with Doc Rivers
When first asked about his thought process to come to the Sixers, Drummond replied- “Making the decision to come to Philly was based off just Doc really having the faith in me to help this team.” Drummond continued to talk about how he knew Coach Rivers since he was a kid, and that he played his high school ball with his son, Austin Rivers.
The success that Doc Rivers has had with big men throughout his career quickly became a theme of the press conference. Drummond made it clear that he is completely comfortable coming off the bench and mentioned the dribble handoffs, pick-and-rolls, and down screens that he could be effective within Rivers’ offense. If he can prove to be effective in a limited role and practice what he is preaching, Drummond could prove to be a useful signing.
Getting Sixers “Over the Hump”
After being asked about his time with the Lakers, Drummond talked about how they made some personnel decisions in which it did not make sense for him to return (AKA sign Dwight Howard). This then shifted his attention to finding a new team and the Sixers immediately stood out to him. Drummond mentioned the Sixers’ recent success but put it:
“(The Sixers have been) on the rise for the past couple of years. It’s just really getting over that hump to get to that next level, and I think me coming off the bench and just giving that extra boost of energy to really spark the team and is something I’m good at and willing to do.”
Looking at the new backup center as the missing piece that could get the Sixers over the edge is likely a stretch, but his acceptance of a reserved role is a very positive takeaway. Still in the prime of his career, Andre Drummond has much more left in the tank than Howard did last year. However, if he can accept a similar role to Dwight and avoid doing too much on the court will make or break this signing.
Beef with Embiid is Squashed
It has been just three short years since Joel Embiid has publically shamed Andre Drummond for his inferior play. This was a much different time for each of the players as Drummond was a focal point of a struggling Pistons team and Embiid was in the prime of his online trolling career. There is some poetic justice as Embiid proved to be right with former two-time all-star now coming to the Sixers on a veterans minimum to serve as his backup.
Drummond did his best to silence all concerns about the potential bad blood right off the bat in the press conference. The former Pistons star put it, “For me there was never any real beef. At the end of the day it’s the game of basketball and we are both competitive. The way we play, sometimes we talk, and I don’t think it ever goes further than that.”
While the hug between Embiid and Drummond seemed less than enthusiastic, the 4-time rebounding champion made it clear that is is all water under the bridge and he is looking forward to being on the same team as Embiid rather than competing against him.
It may have been an unexpected move, but there is still a lot to like about the Andre Drummond signing. He has a lot more left in the tank than Dwight Howard did and one would hope he is less prone to boneheaded mistakes. The fit on this roster almost entirely depends on Drummond’s ability to swallow his pride an accept his backup role in the same way he did with the Lakers last season. This will not fully be put on display until the Sixers take the court but his first interaction with the media shows incredibly positive signs in this regard.
Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire