Andre Drummond Getting A Breath of New Life

Andre Drummond wasn’t right last season, and it stemmed from his college days at UConn.

On Oct. 28 2011, Drummond was accidentally hit in the nose by then freshman Brendan Allen who just made the team as a walk-on, and was immediately sent for tests. After getting X-Rays and tests, it was determined he had a mild concussion and a broken nose forcing the then freshman to wear a mask for several weeks allowing the nose to heal naturally.

After playing for four seasons with one nostril, Drummond decided to do something about it, and get it fixed through surgery.

“It took until last season for me to realize how bad it got. I literally couldn’t breathe in games. I couldn’t fall asleep for long periods of time because I was actually choking at night. It was tough,” the 6-foot-11 center said.

“I broke my nose in college and it gradually got worse over the years. I didn’t know how bad it got until my doctor asked how I played like that (with one nostril). I’m just happy I got it done.”

For Drummond having two nostrils has been a blessing even though it added some extra work in the off-season shedding close to 30-pounds.

“Having two nostrils is definitely a blessing. Being able to breathe again is great. I’m able to workout harder. I’m able to sleep better. I can smell things again. Things are good,” he said, noticeably thinner.

“I think I weigh about 285 (the roster has him at 279). I lost about thirty pounds or so from last year, and I’m definitely feeling it. I’m moving quicker, jumping higher. I just feel great overall. When I had my nose surgery, I wasn’t 100-percent breathing clear. I had to push through the wall of being able to use my nose again. I did a lot of conditioning to get myself in tip-top shape.

“I know I can’t run like I did during the season, so I also changed how and what I eat. I needed to get creative to keep that weight down, while keeping myself ready to play.”

Drummond has a new lease on life, and he wants to let it shine through this season. He says that the year he had in 2016-17 wasn’t an accurate representation of who he is. He also said that he took that slap on the wrist as a wake up call.

“There is no time to bull**** or anything like that. Everybody’s window is short in this league. I needed to make sure I took each and every day and be the best I can be,” he added. “For me, I put so much pressure on myself to focus more on my free throws. I spent all summer working on my game. I took the time to really develop that aspect and others. I just have to trust that I’ve done what I’ve needed to do to get better, and not dwell on the past.”

Drummond also had time to see the new Little Caesars Arena this off-season, and thought the arena looked more like a hockey arena than a basketball arena. But coach Stan Van Gundy said that he thinks Drummond’s opinion will change once the season begins.

“If you walk into the arena and the ice is down, yeah it looks like a hockey arena. So does the Palace when the ice is down. When the court is up, it’s a basketball arena, just like Staples Center, Madison Square Garden, the United Center, and a lot other places,” Van Gundy offered.

“I haven’t talked to him about it, but I think his opinion will change when he’s playing in it.”

Drummond did walk back his comments on Monday as well saying that he went down there a few times and saw a lot of hockey stuff and that it didn’t feel like home.

“I understand we’re sharing the space, but we have to be represented somewhere. I was just speaking from a place of emotion. I thought there’d be more Pistons stuff,” he said. “Maybe I’m looking at it in a wrong angle because everything isn’t done yet. Obviously when the season starts, and we’re playing there my views will probably change. But at the time, that’s how I felt.”

 

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