Andre Drummond apologizes for sulking during Pistons’ playoff-clinching win
Andre Drummond missed a pair of free throws in the fourth quarter and sat for the rest of the game. He’d been there before, looking unhappy on the bench while Stan Van Gundy avoided Bang-a-Drumm.
But the Pistons hadn’t been there before. They were clinching their first playoff berth in seven years, snapping a postseason drought that began before any current player joined the roster.
As his teammates cheered each other down the stretch, Drummond sat and sulked at the end of the bench. He didn’t even join huddles during timeouts.
For all those who thought I was sad about that game... Isn't the case at all just was sad my best friend who passed away wouldn't be able— Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummond) April 9, 2016
Drummond, via Aaron McCann of MLive:
It’s unfortunate that Drummond’s friend died, and everyone grieves in their own ways. Drummond’s reaction – whether totally because of his loss or frustration due to missed free throws landing him on the bench – was human.
But Drummond also holds a high-pressure job that demands players put aside personal issues or channel them into their play. Obviously, that matters less when he’s sitting on the bench than in the game. But Drummond – Detroit’s best and soon to be highest-paid player – still holds influence from the bench. His teammates look to him as a natural leader given his status as the franchise’s longest-tenured player. It doesn’t help if they’re distracted, wondering about Drummond’s overt and sudden change in mood.
Drummond needn’t apologize for feeling a certain way – but it matters when his response to those feelings affects others. This is a small issue for a young player to learn from.
Mostly, Drummond is probably being too hard on himself.