While local media types flew to a former Minnesota Timberwolves player in town, asking him once again what it’s like to play against his former team, this reporter opted instead to hang around a native Minneapolis player’s locker.
Alan Anderson played his prep ball here, his college ball at Michigan State, and now is in his fifth NBA season with New Jersey. “I’m blessed,” admitted the 6’-6” guard/forward after his 11-point effort in a bad loss to the host Wolves.
Anderson signed as a free agent with the Nets in July after one year in Toronto. He logged his “basketball years” in China, Russia, Croatia, Israel and Spain as well as in the NBA Development League. “I’ve played a lot of basketball, not just in the NBA but all over Europe.”
When asked, however, if he is a “grizzled veteran,” he responded quickly, “No, not on this team.”
Some preseason prognostications had Brooklyn — the other New York NBA team — in the top half of the East, especially after acquisitions of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce during the off-season, but the Nets thus far have stumbled at season’s start with only four wins after one month into this season.
“It’s almost like a bad dream,” bemoaned Anderson, virtually scratching his head. “We got all the talent in the world here. We just can’t get it rolling yet. We got to hold each other accountable a lot more.
“We got [future] Hall of Famers [in Garnett and Pierce] on our team. Every team is up for us every night,” believes the Minneapolis native. “[With] the names on the team, you’d think we’d be a contender. I feel I could help a team like that, especially coming off the bench.
“It’s not the fact that we’re losing, but how we are losing,” said Anderson after a 111-81 loss at Minnesota. “Right now we’re too good to be losing by 30 to anybody.
“We got to win game by game,” he surmised. “We can’t overlook any team.”
As Anderson hopes his first season with the Nets soon will make a U-turn and hit the winning track, the veteran player nonetheless is enjoying the ride: “It’s tough times now, but I am living a dream.”
Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.