Andre Drummond Day continues here on the blog.
Catch yourself up by reading my column on Drummond’s rookie season and comparing his stats with other teenage bigs (Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, etc.) as rookies.
Unfortunately, my interview with Pistons GM Joe Dumars was too late to be included in the story. Here are some comments from Dumars:
*On the risk of drafting Drummond: “We saw the same raw talent that so many other people saw. At this stage of our growth right now, we felt it was absolutely worth the risk to bank on his raw talent. Seeing his raw talent and where we were as a team allowed us to go forward with Andre, and also the personality of the kid. Those two things are the reasons why we felt comfortable drafting him.”
*On Drummond’s surprising rookie year: “What we said from the very beginning from the night that we drafted him is that we’re going to allow his progress to go at its own pace. So, what we didn’t do, what we still don’t do, is put undo expectations on him. What we said to him was ‘come in here every day and give 100 percent effort every day and you’re going to get better.’ We’ve kept it very simple. We’ve not tried to overanalyze Andre, we’ve not tried to put any undo pressure on him. We’ve allowed him to go at his own pace, and he’s picked up things a lot quicker than most 18, 19 year old kids do. He’s been able to grasp things pretty quickly and we like that. But from that standpoint, I’m telling you that we’re not trying to overburden him and put too much on his shoulders.”
*On Drummond’s playing time (19.8 minutes per game): “It’s always the coaches’ decision and we’ve talked about it. Andre’s career is not going to be based on the first 41 games that he plays in the NBA, so he has a lot of time ahead of him. And actually, his minutes are starting to gradually increase now. That’s all about bringing him along at the right pace and not trying to overburden him with too much. We like the way he’s coming along. We like the progress he’s making.”
*On Drummond’s personality: “We think we have a great kid here in Detroit. Beyond what you see on the court, we really think he has a special personality. That’s as impressive here in Detroit as the things you see on the court as well.”