Drummond 'excited' to join forces with Griffin in Detroit
NBA.com Global on Feb 01, 2018 07:56 AM
FILE - AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 11: Andre Drummond #0 of the Detroit Pistons goes up for a dunk during a game against the New York Knicks on March 11, 2017 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
The Detroit Pistons are eager to begin a new chapter of their franchise with newly-acquired star Blake Griffin.
Andre Drummond, the Pistons' All-Star center, coach Stan Van Gundy, and forward Stanley Johnson chorused their excitement after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Nick Friedell of ESPN has the details:
"I'm excited," Drummond said after scoring 21 points and grabbing 22 rebounds. "It's a new chapter. We've got three new guys coming in, so it's something to really look forward to. Obviously, Blake is a hell of a player, a great passer, as well too, so I'm looking forward to building this new empire with him."
Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy echoed those sentiments after the victory, saying his assistant coaches believe the short-handed team got a big boost of adrenaline in Tuesday's contest after the reality of acquiring Griffin on Monday night finally sunk in, and that the Pistons are eager to see how he pairs with Drummond on the floor.
"Look, I'm not an ecstatic person," Van Gundy said before the game. "But I'm about as excited as you can be I guess for me in the middle of the season on an eight-game losing streak."
"I'm a huge fan of Blake Griffin," Johnson said. "That's one of the guys I like, at like, 'Oh, this guy's really, really, really, really good.' I think our stance should be let's play around him. He's a guy who I think is a one-in-a-million athlete. You have him paired with another one-in-a-million athlete with Andre. And now it's like let's use that [advantage] and now we'll figure how to [adjust] when you figure out the deal with those two people. You'll never not have them in the game together. You got two of them.
"I know Blake very well," Drummond said. "I talked to him immediately after the trade. He's excited to be here, excited to play with us. Obviously when Reggie gets back, he's excited to play with him too."
Griffin was officially introduced by the Pistons on Wednesday afternoon (Thursday, PHL time). His Detroit debut could come on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) against the Memphis Grizzlies.