Andre Drummond has a message for young ballers: Don’t pout like I did with Detroit Pistons

Detroit Free Press

Andre Drummond went from the Detroit Pistons‘ franchise player to being discarded for scraps and earning a minimum salary.

He’s sharing his story with young hoopers.

Drummond is a two-time All-Star who spent nearly eight full seasons with the Pistons in a complicated tenure.

Drummond, now 29 and with 11 years of NBA experience, was coaching and had an inspirational message which he shared on his Instagram account Monday.

“Basketball is more than just a game,” Drummond’s post read. “It teaches you the most important life lessons. Being a great teammate is one of them. #ADDiaries

Within the message was a 58-second video clip of “Coach Drumm” motivating a huddle of young players, ages unknown.

The clip was cut up and made for social media with a camera zoomed in with a close-up of Drummond so the viewers could not see to whom he was speaking to. But the moment seemed genuine and intimate.

“I want to tell you guys a story,” Drummond began. “I understand where you guys are and what’s going on. I know a lot of this (expletive) is new, some of you guys are coming from respected teams, where you’re the man, you’re that guy on your team and, you know, you’ve played 100 minutes and you’ve scored 1,000 points, x y and z. This is not what this is fellas. And the sooner you guys realize this (expletive) is the better.

“But to be pouting on the bench, making faces, not cheering your (expletive) teammates when we’re down eight the entire game, comeback and go up by three and you’re not celebrating that? I’mma tell you something: Fellas, I was that guy. I was a 100 million dollar guy. I was pouting, I was upset when I wasn’t playing. And I had a bad attitude. I went from 100 million dollars to a (expletive) league minimum. This is a personal story I’m sharing with you guys right now. … They don’t care how many rebounds you get, how many 3s you make. They care about you being as a person, are you a good teammate, are you a good locker room guy? Are you someone they can count on each and every single night? I talk about consistency. … You play 100 percent every single time you step on that (expletive) floor. Consistency fellas, consistency.”

The message started to go viral on both Instagram and Twitter, with multiple NBA players responding.

“🗣️Talk to em Drumm,” Phoenix Suns guard Bradley Beal wrote.

“you definitely inspired this gang🙏🖤” Drummond replied.

Drummond was drafted ninth overall by the Pistons in the 2012 NBA draft after he spent one season at Connecticut. His size and athleticism was undeniable, but he dropped a bit in the draft due to questions about his motor.

Drummond as his career progressed became a polarizing player among Pistons fans and league wide.

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He was a double-double machine by his second season, but historically poor free-throw shooting and immaturity questions followed him.

He pouted on the bench in April 2016 in the home playoff clincher against the Washington Wizards, after being pulled from the game by coach Stan Van Gundy to prevent intentional fouling.

But that summer he signed a five-year, $127 million max contract with the Pistons before his age-23 season.

And although he continued to post double-digit points and rebounds and collect steals and blocks at a high rate, the Pistons could not break their winless playoff drought that has now reached 15 years. They were swept both times in Drummond’s tenure.

He worked hard to improve his free throw shooting, but in Game 3 of the 2019 playoffs, a blowout loss to Milwaukee, Drummond was booed by fans at Little Caesars Arena for poor effort.

Drummond in Year 4 of his deal was finally dealt to Cleveland in a salary dump at the 2020 trade deadline for a 2023 second-round pick (less favorable between Cleveland and Golden State) and the expiring contracts of Brandon Knight and John Henson.

“He was a polarizing figure to fans because of his inconsistent play and lack of offensive skill outside the paint,” Free Press sports columnist Shawn Windsor wrote after the trade. “Yet it wasn’t so much his effort as it was his inability to consistently get out of his head, which made it look like he wasn’t competing at times.”

Drummond was bought out by Cleveland the following spring and signed on with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he finally experienced a playoff game win.

Drummond has since gone on to be a productive backup big man with a salary at the veteran minimum, a slow yet steady fall as the game changed around him. After starting 540 of 591 appearances with the Pistons and averaging 31 minutes per game, he has transitioned to 16.3 minutes per game the past two seasons with 36 starts in 140 appearances with Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Chicago.

He was signed by Philadelphia in 2021 for one year and $2.4 million, and the next offseason signed a two-year deal with a player option on the second year for $6.6 million with Chicago. He recently picked up his option to return to the Bulls for the upcoming season.

Funny enough late Monday night, a connection to Drummond appeared: The Pistons signed Isaiah Stewart to a four-year, $64 million rookie extension deal, with Stewart becoming the first rookie to sign a second contract with the team since Drummond.

Listen to “The Pistons Pulse” with new episodes each week, wherever you listen to podcasts. Catch all of our podcasts and daily voice briefing at freep.com/podcasts.

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