LOS ANGELES – Alan Anderson’s determined to get past a frustrating 2015-16 season, and he’ll get to do it in a new environment with the Clippers.
The wing officially signed with the Clippers early this week, finally feeling healthy again after injuries impacted his production last year with Washington in a way they never had before.
From going undrafted, to getting a taste of the NBA before bouncing around the D-League and Europe, to eventually becoming a mainstay back in the league in 2012, Anderson’s gone through plenty and witnessed just about everything a player can in the league.
Then came last year with the Wizards, when ankle and hamstring issues limited Anderson to 13 games.
“Last season was real tough, because I’d never been hurt like that before,” Anderson said. “I’ve always played at least 50-plus games, so it was difficult for me. But you go through everything, you go through things to get through things. It was tough, but I’m just happy to be through it, be done with it, move on from it, learn from it.”
And he’ll get to do all of that now with the Clippers, signing with the team who was after him from the start.
Anderson said he knew the Clippers were interested in once free agency began, but there was plenty of unknown at the time regarding the cap situation. He knew, regardless which players returned to the Clippers and which newcomers agreed to deals, they wouldn’t be able to afford much.
“I really wasn’t thinking about a minimum deal at the time,” Anderson said.
But Anderson said teams worried about his health, though he insists that’s no longer a problem after injuries limited him to five points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in 13 games last season. Following ankle surgery, Anderson didn’t play his first game with the Wizards until Feb. 24.
The 6-6 wing, who holds career averages of 7.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game, is trying to get past that trying season in Washington, where he was brought in as the veteran wing to help replace Paul Pierce. Now, he’ll be joining Pierce’s team in Los Angeles, hoping to bounce back with plenty of talent around him to help.
“I turned down a lot of offers because they weren’t the best fit for me,” Anderson said. “The Clippers were actually the strongest team from Day 1, even though they didn’t have what I thought I was worth. They were the most loyal – the most consistent – and I just feel more comfortable with these guys.”
Anderson knows Chris Paul, Ray Felton, DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford from years playing against them. He even played against J.J. Redick in his younger days, including college when he was a Michigan State Spartan facing off against Redick’s Duke Blue Devils.
In total, Anderson says he knows about half the Clippers’ roster well, and he likes what he sees.
“I see something special,” Anderson said, “and just want to be a part of it.”
He knows the looks that could come his way, with the attention Paul, Redick and Blake Griffin will get. He said he can help stretch the floor, handle the ball and defend, adding another dimension on the wing.
While he hasn’t talked specifics regarding his role yet with Clippers’ personnel, he knows opportunity will be there.
“And I’m going to make the most of it,” Anderson said.