Well-traveled Amundson brings energy to NOLA

By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer

Now playing for his third different NBA team this season, it was therefore completely understandable that when Lou Amundson updated his Twitter page bio recently, he chose this unusual description: “Professional basketball player for __________.”

After appearing in a combined 21 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls, Amundson signed with the New Orleans Hornets for the remainder of the 2012-13 season on March 12. The signing brought a welcome respite from a recent odyssey by the rugged 6-foot-9, 225-pounder, which has taken him to five different NBA cities since the 2010-11 season alone. Overall, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas product – who went undrafted in 2006 – has now been a member of eight different NBA franchises. He’s played for teams in five of the league’s six divisions, with the Southeast being the only non-Amundson group.

Although he has the resume (and Twitter description) of an NBA journeyman, the 30-year-old has been an integral member of two recent playoff teams. He played in 16 postseason games for the 2010 Phoenix Suns, who reached the Western Conference finals before falling to the eventual champion Lakers. Last season, he averaged 12.3 minutes over 11 playoff appearances for the Indiana Pacers, who were eliminated in the Eastern Conference’s second round by ’12 NBA titlist Miami.

For a player who attended college in one of America’s most glamorous cities, there’s very little flashiness to Amundson’s game. The California native has averaged nearly as many rebounds (3.6) as points (3.8) in his career, seemingly as content to set a hard pick or make a hustle play as he is with the ball in his hands.

“I try to bring energy to the game,” Amundson described. “I try to pick up the tempo defensively, get steals, blocked shots and rebounds. I want to try to change the game with my energy.”

The current Hornets player with the most NBA postseason experience (29 career games), Amundson won’t be adding to that total this spring. But that won’t impact his motivation during the stretch run.

“Any time you’re in a tough situation, it can be defeating (mentally),” he said after New Orleans was recently mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. “But we still have to play hard every night. I’ve always approached it like that. You’ve still got to play hard and play the right way. That’s always important. That’s the only way you’re going to really improve as a team.”