Derek Anderson RumorsAll NBA Players
Height: 6-5 / 1.96
Weight:195 lbs. / 88.5 kg.
Height: 6-5 / 1.96
Weight:195 lbs. / 88.5 kg.
You were abandoned by your parents at a young age and have spoken of how you stayed positive by keeping busy. Most others in that situation would probably crumble under the circumstances, but not you. How did you keep your head up? Derek Anderson: Staying busy and working then is how I avoided getting in trouble. That alone let me know that if I stayed busy and did something, I wouldn’t have to be explaining to all the drug dealers and gang-bangers and others that why I wasn’t joining them was “I’ve got to go to work. I have to go play basketball,” and that was kind of my excuse and was a way I got to utilize all my time when everyone else was hanging around. Everyone else saw me going to work at a candy store, delivering papers or playing basketball. I basically said at age 13 or 14, “I’m going to do a routine,” so I was basically like a machine. I just did everything the same and never changed. I’m almost the same way now. I just do what I do every single day and that way I stay committed to finishing what I started and I’ve always been busy.
04 Mar 14
Your best season was probably in 2001 with the Spurs because after that you ended up getting a six-year contract worth $48 million with the Portland Trail Blazers, right? Derek Anderson: Yeah, I had a great season, great team, great teammates… The general manager at the time was very disrespectful. The coach, teammates were great, the city and the fans were supergreat… I just didn’t like the general manager at all. The GM you’re talking about is RC Buford. DA: Yeah. I think he learned, after I left, that you can’t be rude to people and expect them to stay [laughs].
The guard said he asked for a trade in 2005, and said he didn’t want to be in Portland anymore. According to Anderson, team president Steve Patterson told him, “Go home, we’ll come up with something.” The toothache was a fabrication by the organization, Anderson said, intended to make him look bad. Said Anderson: “When Steve told me, I told him I don’t want to be here, all the players were like, ‘Let him go, trade him.’ Rasheed asked to be traded. Damon sat on the end of the bench and asked to be traded. Everyone was trying to get out of there, but because I’m the nice guy and they figure, ‘Hey he won’t go to the paper and say anything, he won’t cuss us out and flip us off in the stands, let’s make him a scapegoat.’ “That happens to all good guys who are in a bad situation. They make him a scapegoat. If i would have choked the coach and did everything else, then what? Now, people try to reward people with attitudes and it’s not right. Not one of my teammates would ever say anything. They forget, I am a man. No one has ever tried me or disrespected me. You know how the newspaper works. They were trying to look for a scape goat and a story, who else could they go to? Everyone else had been in jail.”
Anderson spoke in a wide-ranging interview on 750-AM The Game talking about his childhood, growing up abandoned and poor, and his time with the Blazers. He said the infamous incident in 2005 in which he apparently blew off a Blazers game, sitting out with a toothache, and was spotted in the McDonald’s drive-thru was a case of the organization throwing him under the bus. Listen to the full podcast here.
You played with the Blazers for the most part of your career. Those Blazer teams had tons of talent but at the end it seems something was missing to get to the top. DA: Cohesiveness. You need a coach to bring everyone together, and at the time Maurice Cheeks just started coaching… You see now, he just got fired recently from Detroit. That’s the whole point, you can’t have a coach not prepared for that. Cheeks is a great guy, but coaching is a different animal. You have to know that.
Who was the toughest player for you to guard during your career? DA: There was a couple. When I played it was tough. I was a tough guard but think about it, you had these shooting guards: Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Mitch Richmond, Latrell Sprewell, Allan Houston, Steve Smith, JR Rider… Just naming those guys, you knew you had a tough night every night and if you watched on TV you said ‘Man, this is a great game!’ Now you can’t name me five apart from Kobe [Bryant], [James] Harden and maybe Joe Johnson… It was fun back then. Mario Elie, Allen Iverson was a two-guard back then… There was a bunch of talent. Now? There’s nothing.