A nearly empty arena took away some of the excitement of Andre Drummond‘s return to Detroit on Saturday night, but the experience was still memorable for the Cavaliers‘ center, who spent the first seven and a half years of his career with the Pistons, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
“Overwhelming amount of feelings rushed through my body,” Drummond said. “Just being back in this building again, but on the other side, it was a lot of memories that just rushed through my head, hearing my name again in this arena. After that, the moment was over. Came out in the starting lineup, got ready to play and we came out with a great win.”
Drummond was a franchise cornerstone from the time he was taken in the 2012 draft, but he became expendable at the February trade deadline when Detroit decided to shed salary and embrace rebuilding. Pistons coach Dwane Casey has watched Drummond a few times since the trade and has noticed his growth on offense since arriving in Cleveland.
“Different seeing him on the other side,” Casey said. “I loved him. I got close to Andre and I took it as a project to try to work with him and develop him and put him in position to be successful. It was a business decision for us — the direction we were going in and the direction he needed to go in from an individual standpoint. Hated to see him go. (Owner) Tom (Gores) loved Andre. The whole organization loved Andre. He’s the Dennis Rodman of our game as far as rebounding. He has a knack and timing. Tried to develop some other skills and just didn’t have enough time to get there with him. He has a bright future.”
There’s more from the Central Division:
- Jrue Holiday is having the impact the Bucks hoped for when they made him the focal point of their offseason, notes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Holiday was a difference maker in the Christmas Day win over the Warriors, contributing to 30% of the offense through the first three quarters and holding Stephen Curry to 6-of-17 from the field. “I just think our spacing we have, the athleticism that we have opens up everything,” Holiday said. “Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and Khris (Middleton) demand so much attention, so just to be able to run in space, to correct spacing and really just go from there.”
- Veteran guard D.J. Augustin made his Bucks debut Friday after suffering a calf strain during the preseason, Owczarski adds in the same story. Augustin credits the medical staff for making him take his time to recover.
- Gores is rejecting a call to sell the Pistons because of his ownership of a prison telecom company that is accused of charging inmates up to $15 for a 15-minute phone call, according to Eric Woodyard of ESPN.