Andre Drummond played only 26 games for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2021, but he learned a lot from his short stay in the purple and gold.
The current big man of the Brooklyn Nets talks about his time in Los Angeles in an interview with Jefe Island on Friday. While Drummond said he liked playing for the Lakers, he acknowledged that you need to be stronger mentally as a person to survive in this market.
“Yes, the Lakers are exactly what you think they are. You have to be built differently to play for this organization. You have to be mentally strong not only on the court, but also off the court, because there are so many expectations to be a Laker and to put this purple and gold. Because if you do not meet this expectation, they will tell you that you are not worthy enough to wear this shirt. So you have to play your best and play hard every night, whether you win, lose or draw. You just have to play hard. That’s what they respect. “
“I had a lot of fun there. I came out of a strange situation in Cleveland, where I spent four months. Somehow I came back, just trying to figure out how to fit into a team I hadn’t played before. It was kind of a weird situation to get back into the rhythm of basketball. I wish I had a chance to really connect with these guys and really do something. But everything happens for a reason. But the Lakers situation was fun. I enjoyed being there. “
Drummond signed a one-year contract with the Lakers on March 28, 2021, after his previous team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, bought his contract. Drummond missed some time due to injuries and averaged 11.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 24.8 minutes in his 21 regular season games against Los Angeles. He signed with the Philadelphia 76ers before this season, but was changed to the Nets along with Ben Simmons and Seth Curry for James Harden.
A game in LA
The Lakers didn’t enjoy much positivity after winning the 2020 NBA Finals with LeBron James and Anthony Davis – and Drummond wasn’t the only Lakers player to live up to expectations in Los Angeles.
Russell Westbrook probably held out the most carefully of all the Lakers’ recent players last season after being replaced in Los Angeles by the Washington Wizards before the season. Things got so bad for Westbrook that fans booed him when he shot the ball during a game last season. Westbrook spoke about his experiences in Los Angeles in an exclusive interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports in April.
“My family is my foundation,” Westbrook told Yahoo Sports. “My faith is my foundation № 1 and I rely on it. And nothing beyond that can ever sway me, because I have so much confidence in these two things that no matter what happens, I know I can achieve and show people that no matter what the situation, you can deal with it. That was really important to me. “
“I’m just in a better position on the floor and I’m just turning the page on whatever happened,” Westbrook told Yahoo Sports why he played better. “It’s about finding a way to be effective. It’s still a little difficult sometimes, but I’m just trying to play the best way I know how to play, no matter the situation. I’m just trying to keep competing. “
The turmoil continued to surround the Lakers after the team fired coach Frank Vogel after three seasons. Los Angeles has hired Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darwin Hamm to replace Vogel in May to become the Lakers’ seventh coach since Phil Jackson left in 2011.
It is hoped that Ham, James and Davis can turn the Lakers over after the team failed to qualify for the post-season last year for the first time since 2019.