HoopsHype Drew Gooden rumors

August 21, 2014 Updates

Drew Gooden will not be able to represent Finland in the upcoming FIBA World Cup because his application for dual citizenship will not be cleared in time for the tournament, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The Wizards big man, whose mother is Finnish, was not on the 12-man roster Finland submitted Wednesday for the competition, according to reports out of Finland. The tournament will begin Aug. 30 in Spain. Finland’s first game will be against the United States. Washington Post

In a recent phone interview, Gooden explained that he grew up with his father, Andrew, in Oakland, Calif., but made summer-long trips to Finland every two years to spend time with his mother’s family. He roamed his grandparents’ farm — situated about four hours north of the Finnish capital of Helsinki — milking cows, hunting, fishing, and tending to chicken coops. The biennial visits left an impression on Gooden, who identifies as Finnish. “Half of my family is still over there and I communicate with them all the time,” said Gooden, whose father met Lear while playing professional basketball in Finland. “So it’s like I have time spent there. It’s not like I’m doing this because I just happen to be half-Finnish. No, I really actually have ties to Finland and the culture.” Washington Post

But the situation was complicated because Gooden played for Team USA in a tournament in Brazil in 2000 while attending Kansas and he had never applied for dual citizenship before. He waited until this spring to begin the paperwork process — he recalled starting on it during the Wizards’ first-round playoff series victory over the Bulls — because he held out hope of representing the United States again. Washington Post

August 7, 2014 Updates
August 6, 2014 Updates

Drew Gooden was born in Oakland, went to college in Kansas, and has made a living playing for 10 NBA franchises across the United States. Now the Wizards forward plans on extending his footprint overseas at the end of the month when he suits up for Finland in the FIBA World Cup, according to a person with knowledge of Gooden’s intentions. Gooden, 32, is eligible to play for Finland because his mother is Finnish. Washington Post

July 18, 2014 Updates

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has re-signed forward Drew Gooden. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. "The addition of Drew was a big part of our success late last season and we are excited to have him back with us," said Grunfeld. "His skills will help to solidify our front court rotation and his experience will help us continue to grow as a team." NBA.com

July 15, 2014 Updates
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Gooden will be spending time in Montgomery County this offseason regardless of his NBA future, but he said “hopefully it’s in Washington.” “I have a comfort level there like no other right now,” he said. “I can’t see myself wanting to go play with another team, to prove myself again for another coach in another organization, doing all those things again. I feel like what we did last year and the potential of what we could build on, I think that’s something I want to be a part of.” Washington Post

May 16, 2014 Updates
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April 28, 2014 Updates

Washington Wizards forward Drew Gooden, who played for the Clippers in 2009-10, said he was moved to look up Sterling's background and the discrimination lawsuits against him. "There's documentation of him already being involved in these situations," Gooden said. "Now, his views and cultural differences are just out there more in the open. "We know it's out there. It's no secret. It's out in the open, and just rise above it. Minorities as a whole have all had their struggles. This is another test for minorities to rise above it and go on with our lives." Yahoo! Sports

March 23, 2014 Updates

He's making up for lost time now, though, having since been signed through the rest of the season while reminding his new bosses and opponents alike that he's not done just yet. With the Wizards (35-32) on pace to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, Gooden has averaged 19 points and eight rebounds in his past three games and 10.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in his 10 games played since coming aboard. "Since I got in the league, I've been involved in a lot of business decisions (as opposed to) basketball decisions, so this is one of the hardest ones, having to come in with my body of work and having to sign a 10-day deal," said Gooden, who is still being paid on the five-year, $32 million deal he signed with the Bucks in 2010. "I would never have thought of myself having to do that. But that was the route I had to do, and so be it." USA Today Sports

He only played 16 games last season because of injuries and the Bucks' youth movement, and the eight months between his release and joining the Wizards was more than enough time to plump up and fall out of shape. But Gooden made sure he was good to go. "You could say it was 18 months of not really being in an NBA game," Gooden said. "It was a good time off for my body to recover, but you do a lot of soul searching during that time off. You're on your own schedule, so you have to work." USA Today Sports

As for the teams that didn't sign him? Gooden won't forget which ones they were any time soon. "I've got a vendetta right now against all the other teams that overlooked me," he said. "I wanted to show them once I got an opportunity that I've got a passion and I love this game, and I wasn't going to go and leave my career like it was left last season in Milwaukee. "So I fought, I stuck with it, did some soul searching and learned a lot about myself during that time, and it ended up working out for me." USA Today Sports

March 22, 2014 Updates

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