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The Word On ... Andre Drummond

Andre the Giant

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Cavs fans didn’t get a long look at the Andre Drummond Era in Cleveland – he arrived in a deal with Detroit on February 6 and the Wine & Gold played their last game on March 10. But what fans saw was a new outlook – a potentially dominant frontline and some impressive dents in the win column. Cleveland went 4-4 in the two-time All-Star’s eight appearances.

Fans and media also barely got to know Drummond during his month-long stay with the Cavs. But he did give us a small glimpse into what makes him tick. So here are a few of his notable quotes – and a few by his coaches and teammates …

Upper Management

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Coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Andre Drummond’s return in a home March win over the Nuggets …

“All the things that he can do, just naturally, the way he rebounds the ball, the way he can protect the paint, the pressure that he puts on the rim.

"His natural skill set makes everybody on the floor better on both ends of the floor.”

Forward March

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Kevin Love on Drummond returning to the lineup in a big home win over the Spurs and the frontline’s overall potential …

“It was great, especially with our frontline, being able to really have four or five formidable guys go out there and play.

"Even when one guy goes down and one guy is out of the lineup, another guy gets to step up and show what he's capable of. Us three having the double-doubles tonight – Dre and Larry, I felt, played really, really great games.”

Bit of a Stretch

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Former head coach John Beilein on Drummond going 2-for-3 from three-point range in a loss to the Clippers …

"They went in. When they go in, it’s always OK. But I think I have to understand who he is a little more.

"I know he had tried a few, he didn’t shoot any against us I don’t think in any of our games, but if you have a five that can shoot it, it does help a great deal.”

Getting the Love

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Kevin Love when Andre Drummond arrived in a blockbuster deal with Detroit at the Deadline …

"Dre's a guy I've known for a long time, we have the same agent. He plays extremely hard and has crazy production, so he's going to be – along with T-Top, Larry and myself – it’s going to be a pretty formidable frontcourt.

"We're going to be able to make a lot of good things happen, rebound the ball at a high clip – and then we have a number of skill guys that can play different ways. It makes us more competitive. We add an All-Star-level player to the team and it definitely looks good.”

Giving Love Back

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Andre Drummond on his friendship with Kevin Love …

"Kevin and I have a great relationship.

"When the trade came through, he was the first person to call me and truly was ecstatic to have me here, because we both were talking about how we didn't know what was going to happen at the trade deadline.

"So to be here with him, someone I've had relationship with for a long time, was great.”

Feeling Wanted

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Andre Drummond after arriving in Cleveland in a trade with the Pistons in early February …

"For me, just coming to an organization that wants me to be here, that's what it really boils down to.

“My excitement is genuine, I'm really happy to be here. The (Cavs) record, it doesn't faze me. I know I can do a lot of things here to help us improve and get ready for the next season.

"It doesn't faze me because I see a bright future here in Cleveland. You know, the young guys here are really, really good. And with the addition of myself and Kevin being healthy, I think we can do really special things here.”

Front and Center

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Andre Drummond on his relationship with his fellow frontcourt mates in Cleveland …

"I immediately got attached to those guys. Obviously, they play in the same position as me, so the camaraderie was already there.

"Kevin and I had a relationship, Tristan and I had a relationship. Larry and I, we've met each other and been around each other in passing, but just being here, it didn't take very long for me to start liking him.”

High Ceiling

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Andre Drummond on the potential of Cleveland’s frontcourt …

"It's a Championship level frontcourt, if you want to be honest.

"I think once we figure it out, I think it's gonna be really scary for people.”

Back to the Basics

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Andre Drummond on improving his free throw shooting over 200 points over the last three seasons after struggling earlier in his career …

"I just went back to my roots. I went back and started working out on with my high school trainer – my high school and college trainer, Don Levine. We just kind of found that switch and got me back to shooting comfortably again and getting out of that head-space where I can't shoot.

"I think 98 percent of it was mental. Almost none of it was form. I've been shooting my whole life. I've never had a problem of shooting (at the line) until right around when I got to college and the NBA because a lot of people were trying to change my shot, the way I shoot things.

"And as a young guy hearing so many things so many times, you get nervous when you get to the free throw line. You're thinking: this guy told me this, this guy told me that. And then, over time, it just became impossible to focus.

"For me, I remember everything vividly. So I'm trying to incorporate all those voices, and it wasn't a good result.

"So, a couple of years went by and I got tired of it, I got tired of being known as a bad free throw shooter.

"And I just snapped out of it decided to go back to where it all started. So I just started working on my own, working with my coach again. And I got more comfortable and I found my stroke.”

A Special Talent

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Andre Drummond on his role as a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics …

"That's my passion.

"I was asked to coach the basketball game for the Special Olympics during All-Star Weekend during my rookie year. And after the game, I fell in love with it. And I told my agency that I want to do it again the next All-Star Weekend.

"That first year, I was hurt and wasn't able to participate in certain events, so they really just threw me into this. I knew nothing about the Special Olympics. But after I did it, I fell in love with the kids, I fell in love with the organization. I fell in love with what they represent.

"So I went and coached again and I won the Rising Star MVP that same year. And I was like, man, I want to do it again next year! And after my fourth year, I got a phone call saying: 'Hey, we see that you really enjoy working with the Special Olympics. We would love to name you our Global Ambassador and start giving you more things to do and some different branches to work with.’

"So, ever since then, I've worked with the kids, mostly in Detroit. They got to the championship game, which was really huge. They gave me a trophy! That was a great moment for me.”

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