Pistons’ Andre Drummond admits he used to hate Zaza Pachulia
Detroit Pistons All-Star center Andre Drummond has helped lead the Pistons to a sterling 4-1 record, good for third in the Eastern Conference. Drummond isn’t as outspoken as other NBA stars, but when prompted he has no trouble speaking his mind. In a recent interview with James L. Edwards III of The Athletic, Drummond did not hold back when asked what he used to think about new teammate Zaza Pachulia.
“I hated him. I absolutely hated him.”
Although there was obvious tension on Drummond’s side when they first became teammates, Pachulia opened the young star’s eyes upon speaking with him.
“When he got here, it was one of things where we had to feel him out and see what he was really about,” Drummond said of his former foe-turned-teammate. “Once you get a chance to talk to him and learn what he’s about, you have no choice but to respect him. And that respect comes with looking him in the eyes when he does say something.
“Being on the same floor as him now, and getting to speak to him personally — no one gets a chance to talk to someone who they think, ‘I hate playing against this guy’ — just talking to him and learning what his motives were and what he was told to do when he played against me, it’s like, damn, now I really get him.”
Drummond values Pachulia as a teammate since taking the time to get to know him, rather than hate him as a competitor. Drummond is averaging 18.4 points, 15.8 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in five games this season, while Pachulia is playing a key role as the backup center.
If Andre Drummond can continue to play at this impressive level, the Pistons could make some major noise in the Eastern Conference this season.