Andre Drummond has been one of the Association's most dominant big men over the last decade. He spent his first eight seasons in Detroit, winning four rebounding titles and earning an All-NBA citation and two All-Star berths.
The past few seasons, though, have seen Drummond play complementary roles in Philadelphia and Brooklyn. His current stint in Chicago has seen him assume much of the same responsibilities; backup center and go-to rebounder.
Different role, same energy
The statlines may not be as impressive as in Detroit, but Drummond's focus has shifted away from numbers and towards winning. The 10-year veteran is no longer looking to put up season highs in points or rebounds; he wants a ring on his finger more than anything else.
"I'm at a point now where I'm just focusing on winning. I told Billy and the guys when I came here from the beginning: 'Whatever you guys need me to do to help win, that's what I'm willing to do.' If that's to play eight minutes, 12 minutes, 30 minutes, I'm able to do that. I'm cool with the role that I have. I just have to maintain it," said Drummond before the game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Despite his roles changing, Drummond's mentality has stayed the same. He still wants to win and knows what it takes to do so. He remains as dominant a rebounder as there is in the league -- the Chicago Bulls' big man grabbed 12 rebounds in just 13 minutes of action against the Boston Celtics on Monday; he had 8 rebounds in 17 minutes of yesterday's win over the Bucks; back in October, he hauled down 12 boards in 15 minutes.
It's clear Drummond can put up big numbers when given ample playing time. However, that's not where his head is at.
"I mean, I've played for a long time. I think you've seen what I've done in my career. So if I had 30 minutes, the possibilities are endless. But that's not where I'm at now. I think everybody knows what I can do statistically. I think now my career is what I can do to help a team win," said Drummond who is playing a mere 16 minutes per game so far this season.
Embracing his new role
Going from being an All-Star and a team's offensive focal point to a role player is a huge adjustment not many stars can make -- ask the likes of Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard how difficult it is to do so. However, Drummond has accepted his new role and embraced the challenge head-on.
"It's something that I'm working on. When I do have that momentum swing or I have it rolling and then I have to come out, it's time for me to be a good teammate and cheer on the rest of the guys. It's not something I take personal. It's something I have to accept," Drummond said.