Jerry Zgoda's Sunday Insider: Journey has been worth it for Nets' Anderson

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 24, 2013 - 8:16 AM

Alan Anderson relishes his chance to play on a team with as many stars as the Nets, despite their poor start this season.

hide

DeLaSalle product Alan Anderson, shooting over Miami’s Shane Battier in October, played in the NBA for the Bobcats after going undrafted, then traveled the world before returning.

Photo: Alan Diaz • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

If you’ve followed his nine-year pro career beyond DeLaSalle High School and Michigan State and if you’ve paid attention to the Brooklyn Nets’ 3-9 start this season, you’d know Alan Anderson has been on many paying teams like this before.

And yet he has never been on a team like this before.

The Minneapolis native is 31 and has toted his bags from Charlotte to Italy, Russia, Croatia, Israel, Albuquerque, Spain and then back again to the NBA with Toronto and now the Nets. But even given a lousy November he never expected, Anderson sometimes still has to look around his team’s Barclays Center locker room and tell himself it’s all real.

To his left are the lockers for future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce as well as All-Star point guard Deron Williams. To his right are those for Joe Johnson, Jason Terry and Brook Lopez. His coach is Jason Kidd, a 10-time All-Star himself but a first-timer now on the sidelines.

Despite his team’s current lousy start, he said last week he still believes the Nets’ championship aspirations are legitimate.

“At first it was like, ‘Wow, am I really on this team?’ ” he said before a home game against Portland last week. “You know I mean? I won’t realize it more until after everything settles in. We’re all together. We all get along so well. We all have a good time. This is easy right now.”

Except November has been anything but easy for a team that carried so many preseason expectations and owns a $190 million tab for player payroll and luxury tax penalties.

The Nets have been injured. Starters Williams and Lopez as well as Terry and Andrei Kirilenko all missed Friday’s game against the Timberwolves at Target Center, and time is ticking on them: Seven players are in their 30s, including Garnett at 37 and Pierce at 36.

Anderson said he has been waiting his entire career for a chance like this.

“You just look around,” Anderson said. “It’s really what I always imagined. This is what I worked so hard to get to, a team that has the pieces to contend. Things aren’t going our way right now, but it’s a long season. We know what we can be.”

The Timberwolves called last summer when he was a free agent, but Anderson said the Nets showed “big interest” from the moment his Raptors contract expired until they signed him up after making all their other important summertime moves.

“We had conversations,” Anderson said about talks with the Wolves. “I guess it wasn’t too serious, huh?”

By signing with the Nets, Anderson renewed his long-standing friendship with Garnett, the former Wolves star whose summer camps Anderson attended as a teenager long ago.

Anderson always followed his hometown team — “Definitely, Pooh Richardson, Doug West, those guys,” he said — since the Wolves entered the NBA when he was 7 years old. But after Garnett came to town when Anderson was 13, everything changed.

“I’ve known him for a long time, watched him when I was growing up, since he got there,” Anderson said. “When he had camps, I attended them. We just became close. We formed a relationship, exchanged numbers and everything. He was a big mentor of mine then. He showed me the kind of person I could be. I never really dreamed I’d be on the same team with him someday.”

SHORT TAKES

Opposites attract

Timberwolves star Kevin Love and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin play the same position, average 20-something points and double-digit rebounds each and are nearly as equally important for their respective teams. But that’s where the comparisons end for the two power forwards, at least if you’re looking through Clippers coach Doc Rivers’ eyes.

  • related content

  • Jerry Zgoda's short takes

    Saturday November 23, 2013

    Opposites attractTimberwolves star Kevin Love and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin play the same position, average 20-something points and...

  • The Wolves' week ahead

    Sunday November 24, 2013

    The Wolves’ week aheadMonday: at Indiana, 6 p.m. (FSN)Wednesday: vs. Denver, 7 p.m. (FSN+)Saturday: at Dallas, 7:30 p.m. (FSN)Player...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees 6 Top 9th Inning
Toronto 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston 8 Bottom 8th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Miami 2 Top 8th Inning
Atlanta 5
Cleveland 4 Delayed
Kansas City 0
Detroit 7 Top 6th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Texas 8 Top 7th Inning
Houston 1
Chicago Cubs 2 Bottom 7th Inning
St. Louis 2
Colorado 0 Top 3rd Inning
Arizona 0
Oakland 0 Bottom 1st Inning
LA Angels 0
Los Angeles 0 Top 1st Inning
San Diego 0
Washington 1 Bottom 1st Inning
Seattle 0
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 28 4th Qtr 5:46
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 4th Qtr 12:30
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 24 3rd Qtr 7:16
Western Ky 38
TX-San Antonio 7 2nd Qtr 8:25
Houston 0
Colorado State 0 2nd Qtr 4:57
Colorado 10
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 0 1st Half 14:00
Sporting Kansas City 0
Ottawa 10 2:43
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 2 1st Qtr 7:52
Phoenix 9
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close