OAKLAND -- Warriors center Andris Biedrins said at media dayon Monday that he is ready and committed for the upcoming season. Ordinarily, aplayer wouldnt have to make that kind of declaration on Day 1, but Biedrinscircumstances arent ordinary.Biedrins was the only Warriors player who didnt participatein optional workouts earlier this month, and then coach Mark Jackson publiclyexpressed disappointment about it.But Biedrins was alongside his teammates on Monday, thefirst official day of training camp.My commitment level has always been the same as it is now and like it was before, said Biedrins, entering his ninth NBA season. Thatdoesnt mean just because I wasnt here I wasnt practicing. I was practicinghard, twice a day, for the past month. I feel great. As long as I can help,come in here in great shape at the start of training camp with the other guys,thats almost the same thing.Like he has done in previous offseasons, Biedrins spent mostof the month of September in Santa Barbara working out.None of this would be in issue, of course, if it werent forthe fact that Biedrins career is in a three-year free fall. In 2008-09,Biedrins averaged 11.9 points, 11.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Sincethen hes been a shell of himself, and his numbers and playing time haveshrunk.RELATED: Andris Biedrins career stats News
Nobodys been able to explain why exactly this has happened,including Biedrins. But he said on Monday he thinks he can return to the playerhe once was.I think it is (possible to get back to where he was),Biedrins said. I think physically Im there. A lot has to do with just kind ofbelieving in yourself more than I am. Ive had frustrating years and you kindof stop believing in yourself so much as you did before like three years ago.Thats the main reason. But I think I can get there.Assuming Andrew Bogut is healthy, Biedrins is going to haveto get there coming off the bench. And hes expected to get some competition atbackup center from rookie Festus Ezeli.He just needs to realize thats hes not a bad basketballplayer, Bogut said of Biedrins. Regardless of what people say, he can helpus. My message to him would be: You can help us. What people say? Who cares?You proved that (you could play) a couple of years ago. No excuse why he cantdo it now.
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Whatever your past coaches, whatever your past generalmanagers, whatever the past fans have said, who cares? He can help us. I thinkif he hears that from us, it will help him.The key for the Warriors will be to try to keep Biedrins inthe fold. He has had flashes over the past few years but hes been nowhere nearconsistent.We need to get his confidence level back to where he canhelp us, Bogut said. Hes 7-foot, he can move, hes mobile. He can rebound.He can block shots. We need to get him to do it again.Biedrins acknowledged on Monday that his confidence haswavered in the recent past. But he feels that might be changing.I think its much higher than it was last year, Biedrinssaid of his confidence. I think I had a great month now and I was practicing alot and I feel good about myself. So, well see when training camp starts andIm excited to play with the guys.