The Nets announced Monday the signing of veteran swingman Alan Anderson, completing the 15-man roster they'll carry into next season. The 30-year-old spent last season in Toronto (following a 12-game trial in 2011-12) and posted averages of 10.7 points (.383 FG%) and 2.3 rebounds in 23.0 minutes during 65 games, including a pair of peak performances against the Knicks: 26 points (10-16 FGs, 6-8 3Ps) on February 13 and 35 points (11-18 FGs, 6-11 3Ps), six rebounds and three assists on March 22.
Having played for two NBA squads and internationally in six different countries, Anderson told team beat writers on a conference call that he's just happy to be here in Brooklyn, playing alongside players he knows well as they begin a journey through the upcoming season. Here are the highlights from Anderson's chat, which covered his signing, his long-standing relationship with Kevin Garnett and how he stays ready at all times.
On signing with the Nets:
"That was easy. The Nets were by far the best team that was trying to sign me. I had other offers, where teams were offering more money, but the fit wasn’t the right fit for me. I’m not getting younger. I wanted to win – I’m a winner. You just look at the teams, and see who’s trying to win, who’s dedicated to winning. And they just showed so much interest in me that I seemed the most comfortable here.
"I wanted to win. I’m a winner."—Alan Anderson
"I think that especially coming off the bench – we have a really, really good starting 5 – me being able to use my versatility and score, defend, create, spot shoot, rebound, doing a little bit of everything, I think I have a lot of power in my repertoire. There’s a lot on the team already. You’ve got Jason Terry, Shaun Livingston, AK47, you’ve got (Andray) Blatche. I think our second unit is going to be just huge."
On the origins of his relationship with KG:
"It was more when I was younger. I was around him 7th, 8th grade; he had a camp (in Minnesota) when I was younger. I had won MVP, and part of the prize was that you get to meet Kevin Garnett and so on. You just think he’s going to say one thing to you.
"He was my mentor, always, from that time I met him."
"He was my mentor.
He was, always from that time I met him: through high school, through college, and my early professional career, he always stayed in touch.
"For a kid from the inner city, to have Kevin Garnett talk to me was really huge and showed me what type of person I wanted to be. That a person of that status and level wanted to speak to me, it was like, ‘Wow.’ That speaks volumes. He was just a mentor to me: how he carried himself, how he played, all the intensity he brought every night, everything. I appreciated that. It made me want to have all that intensity that he brought as well."
On playing his game and staying ready:
"Just do what I do best, and that’s come into the game and bringing energy – whatever it is, just do it and do it at a high, intense level. And always be ready, because our roster’s so deep, some nights I might not play; some nights I might play a lot. But it’s a team thing and we’re all shooting for the same thing, so I have to continue to always be ready and keep my energy level at an all-time max. "I try to stay getting my teammates involved, letting them know we're all in this together."
"It’s hard to really simulate basketball especially when you don’t really have set minutes. What I try to do is stay moving. You don’t want to get stiff. I always try to stay jumping up, cheerleading, getting my teammates involved, letting them know we're all in it together. I never stay still, pretty much.
"And I get a great shooting routine in, where I make a lot, lot, lot of shots in a row, get a feel for the basket, how the ball’s going to bounce so you can time where it’s going to hit off the rim. There’s a lot of different stuff I mess around with."