Last season, Ryan Anderson was glued to the ground. In his words, he felt as though he was running around with 20 pounds of extra weight tied to his already below average athletic frame.
"Training camp last year was the first day I was cleared to do anything. I would say I was close to about 20 pounds heavier than I am right now. I like to think of it as adding a 20-pound weight vest and trying to get up and down the court. It’s a little more difficult."
As we've followed along with his physical transformation this summer on Instagram, the Bird Writes has already pegged Anderson to be the Pelicans breakthrough performer in the 2015-16 season.
What's there not to like? A whole off-season dedicated to fitness, a new coaching staff and a young group motivated by their first playoff appearance in years?? Best of all, he thinks his money three-point shot is set to return.
"Shooting is a whole-body thing. Shooting and mechanics are important. You’ve got to have your legs under you," Anderson said. "Shooting on the move was difficult for me, getting my legs under me was difficult. If you’re kind of dragging around the court like I was, three-balls aren’t the shortest shots; you need your legs under you. You’re going to shoot the ball short. For me, it’s not necessarily the accuracy that gets me; it’s whether I’m going to shoot the ball far enough. Legs are so important for me. Not being able to do much with my legs, especially last summer, that was tough. Last year in my mind was a really difficult year, sort of a ‘wash’ year. I want to move past it."
If you have time, I urge you to listen to Ryan Anderson's entire interview with Sean Kelley on Tuesday's Black and Blue Report. If not, below are some more notable quotes.
- Kelley stated that Eric Gordon believes next year's team could average 109 or 110 points a game. Anderson's response?
"There is no reason why we can't. This is a group, especially with an uptempo pace, we can really score the ball in so many different ways. And we like to run so I don't see why that would be too much of a stretch. We're going to score the ball -- that is not going to be our issue. That's why we've been focusing so much on defense right now this off-season."
- In response to Kelley's accusation Anderson has been dunking on people in practice.
"I feel more athletic than I ever have. I am dunking the ball a little more than I used to. But I don't want fans to be coming in here thinking Ryan's going to be the next Blake Griffin. If I'm the next Blake Griffin, expect me to be in the dunk contest."
- Kelley provoking Anderson that he has never had a crawfish boil.
"This summer has been amazing summer for me. I went to Europe. I went to Pebble Beach; I golfed Pebble Beach. It was amazing; it was beautiful. I did a cross-country road trip with one of my good buddies."
Ryan Anderson appears to be yet another happy and healthy member of the Pelicans headed into training camp. It's getting tougher by the day finding one who isn't.