Behind the Numbers: Drew Gooden

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THE PLAYERS
Behind The Numbers
Gilbert Arenas 0, Wizards
Marcus Banks 3, Timberwolves
Mike Bibby 10, Kings
Andrew Bogut 6, Bucks
Kobe Bryant 8, Lakers
Jarron Collins 31, Jazz
Tony Delk 00, Pistons
Melvin Ely 2, Bobcats
Pau Gasol 16, Grizzlies
Manu Ginobli 20, Spurs
Drew Gooden 90, Cavaliers
Grant Hill 33, Magic
Royal Ivey 36, Hawks
Linton Johnson 43, Hornets
Dikembe Mutombo 55, Rockets
Eric Piatkowski 52, Bulls
Paul Pierce 34, Celtics
Shavlik Randolph 42, Sixers
Earl Watson 25, Sonics
Drew Gooden is a man who can adapt to change. Since coming into the NBA as the fourth overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft, the amicable power Gooden has had more coaches in the pros than his alma mater – the University of Kansas – has had in their entire history.

So when he was traded to Cleveland in the summer of 2004, once again he had to make a change.

“My number has always been 0 and when I first got here, Jeff McInnis had that number and he was being a pain in the (butt), not giving it up,” laughed Gooden. “He really wanted that number.”

As he always does, Gooden adapted, improvised and overcame.

“So I chose 90 – because 9 was my second number in the NBA, with Orlando, and my first number was 0, in Memphis,” said the fourth-year forward. “I just put the two numbers together when I came to Cleveland.”

Dennis Rodman may have started the extension of numbers into the 90s when he donned No. 91 with the Bulls. Now, it’s fairly common, with stars like Ron Artest wearing No. 93. No Cavalier has ever worn the number 90.

Will Drew ever go back to 0 now that Jeff McInnis has departed Cleveland for the Nets?

“Sometimes I think I might, but I think number 90 has really grown on me.”

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