Detroit Piston’s center Andre Drummond is leading the Association in field goal percentage. He is in the top five in rebounds per game, and he is in the top ten in player efficiency rating (PER). He was the first player this season to have three consecutive 18-rebound games, and then followed those games with two 14-rebound games (against the defending NBA champion Miami heat and the Chicago bulls, who are third in the league in rebounds per game). While these past five games may represent a small sample size, Drummond’s progression from his rookie season to this current season suggest that he may join an elite class of big men such as Dwight Howard and Kevin love as the next big star in the NBA.
Drummond has met (and perhaps exceeded) the lofty expectation placed upon him when he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in last year’s draft. His physical gifts coupled with his desire and work ethic have quickly turned the Detroit Pistons from a laughing stock and an afterthought into a potential contender, especially after beating Lebron James and the Miami Heat last Tuesday. Even though the Pistons lost in the rematch to the Heat earlier this afternoon, Drummond and company proved that the Stones are no longer a stepping stone, no longer a joke, no longer an automatic win for contending teams and their respective superstars.
Andre Drummond, at age 20, has been put into an unfortunate situation. He has become more than just another player for the Detroit Pistons; he has become a beacon of hope for a city that has experienced it’s share of troubles for several decades, not the least of which declaring bankruptcy earlier this year. The weight of an entire fan base, an entire city, has been placed on this young man’s shoulders, and I, as a member of the media, am only contributing to that pressure. Drummond may develop into the greatest center, if not the greatest player, this team has ever seen, as he has the talent and potential to join the likes of Bill Lambier, Bob Lanier, Ben Wallace, Chauncey Billiups, Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars,and countless other former Pistons stars, as the cornerstone and face of a winning, profitable franchise.
Drummond’s dominance has not gone unnoticed by fans and media alike. He has, after several long years, once again turned the spotlight onto this once-proud Detroit Pistons franchise. He has restored my faith in a team that I’ve loved for as long as I can remember, and he may one day be remembered as the man that saved a historic organization.
It is our job, as Pistons fans, to allow Drummond to develop into the star we all know he will become. It is the teams job to win games, and keep Drummond’s faith in the team that believed in him when others cast their doubts. It is Tom Gores and Joe Dumars’ job to ensure that Drummond remains a franchise cornerstone for many years to come. Finally, it is Andre Drummond’s job to keep working hard and become the superstar that he is destined to become.
Should we all fulfill our roles, expect to see Drummond’s jersey in the rafters of the Palace one day. Expect him to go down as the savior of a franchise, and expect to see his name in the Hall of Fame. I, for one, can’t wait to see it all play out.
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