He just turned 20, and already Andre Drummond is starting to flex his leadership muscles. As a way of showing the recently signed Pistons rookies, Peyton Siva, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tony Mitchell, what it takes to be a standout NBA rookie, like he was last year, Drummond invited them to the Pistons’ Auburn Hills practice facility a month before training camp opens.
It’s a grind in the NBA, and the level of commitment needed to play hard day in and day out is even more difficult for rookies, who go from having between 30-35 games a year to 82. They’re also transitioning to a new home (or sometimes several new homes) and trying to play at the highest level of basketball on the planet. That’s why getting to a team’s training camp early and starting in on the work required to play at the NBA level is so important.
At least it was for Andre Drummond last season. The 7-footer posted the best PER of any rookie last year and put up 36-minute averages that had fans and analysts excited for his potential moving forward. Many before the draft thought Bynum lacked the requisite motor needed to be a force in the NBA, but that hasn’t been the case at all. Now Drummond’s showing Detroit’s newest rookies how to work.
Drummond told Pistons.com why he got Detroit’s rookie, Siva, to join him at the Pistons’ training facility more than a month before training camp starts, and why Pope and Mitchell are on their way:
“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.’ ”
Siva was winded after his first workout with Drummond, and Andre let him know that it’s only the beginning:
“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.”
Pistons fans now have the additions of Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings to be excited about, as well as the three rookies. But the maturation of Drummond might be the best sign yet that Detroit is on their way up. Now he’s just gotta figure out those free throws.
What do you think?
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