For almost their entire lives, right up until they reach the NBA, most NBA players aren’t all that familiar with losing. They dominated in grade school and high school, and were likely part of successful college programs. It’s not as if they haven’t ever lost before, but it’s a rare occurrence. Then they get to the NBA, where usually the best young players go to the worst teams. Suddenly, losing isn’t a stranger, it’s the most familiar face around the building.
That’s certainly been the case for Andre Drummond, who, since coming to the Detroit Pistons, has experienced losing much more than winning. According to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, Drummond’s doing everything he can to ensure the losing stops – starting with losing weight.
“I’m just so tired of losing that it comes down to me and what I’m doing on the floor and that if I’m not in the best condition, the best playing shape, I can’t do nothing for my team.”
Ellis says Drummond showed up to a recent season ticket holder event noticeably thinner. There are any number of areas that Drummond could address when it comes to improving his game, from refining his post moves to improving his footwork on defense, but starting with his conditioning is a smart choice. Drummond has an athletic advantage on most centers in the league, but that advantage goes away once he becomes too tired to use it. By getting in better shape, Drummond will be able to outrun, out-jump, and out-muscle his match-up on both ends of the floor for longer periods of time.
All of those other aspects he can improve will also benefit from his improved conditioning. Players tend to get lazy – especially on defense – when they get tired, so the longer Drummond can operate at peak performance, the longer he’ll be effective.