If you follow the league closely you know that it takes all types of players to construct a team. From stars, to veterans to role players, it takes the right mix of talent, experience and egos to propel an organization to its highest level. In this installment of our Road to Recovery series we catch up with Brandon Rush from the Golden State Warriors. He’s been a very good role player throughout his career who owns a 40 percent career average shooting from deep. But now he wants to carve out any niche the Warriors may need without any real agenda of his own.
After playing just 38 games with the Utah Jazz last season in an attempt to recover from the ACL injury that robbed him of all but 2 games in 2012-13, Rush is back playing for the Dubs despite being traded from them the previous summer. He took some time after a Warriors practice to discuss with us his rehab process, his troubles in Utah, why he returned to Golden State and all that is in store for him as the NBA season draws near.
[RELATED: Road to Recovery: Sixers center Nerlens Noel]
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Dime: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Brandon. You have had a somewhat of a difficult time these last few years. Where are you at currently with the health of your knees?
Brandon Rush: I’m 100 percent. I’ve been full speed in practice and haven’t had to take any days off. The knee is fine. I’m feeling great and ready for the season.
Dime: That’s great news. What has been the most difficult part of the process in returning for you personally?
BR: The most difficult part was just getting back into game type shape and just playing. I’ve been trying to play a lot of pickup games to get that rhythm back…just trying to get the whole feel back for the game.
Dime: Having suffered a knee injury in college did that give you confidence that you would be able to return this time on the opposite knee? Or did it mess with you in a negative way?
BR: Nah, it gave me some confidence because when I injured my knee in college it took me five months to get back. By the time the season was over in college I was feeling 100 percent. This time it took a little while. But finally I’ve managed to work hard and get my knee right and I’m feeling great again.
Dime: You were in a unique situation because you started the rehab process in Golden State then were traded to Utah last summer. How did that impact how you recovered having to adjust to a different medical staff?
BR: It was difficult. It was really difficult being traded to Utah because there was a lot of confusion going on and they didn’t know what to do with my situation. I didn’t rehab well in Utah so it took me a while. I mean once the season was over I had to start all over from zero.
Dime: Wow, I definitely want to get back to that. Throughout the rehab process who was most influential in keeping you motivated?
BR: Myself because I’ve been through it before. I knew what I had to do in order to get back to where I once was before the injury.