As the Detroit Pistons 2017-18 is about to get underway, one former Piston had some choice words about a certain Piston center with free throw shooting woes. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was approached by Haley O’Shaughnessy of The Ringer, for a piece surrounding the Piston’s center.
“Yeah, everybody knows,” Kentavious Caldwell-Pope told me. After spending his first four NBA seasons in Detroit, Caldwell-Pope signed with Los Angeles this summer in free agency. “Free throws were what [Drummond] really needed to do. Everybody shoots a hundred, 1,000 jumpers, 500 jumpers every day. So 100 free throws is nothing. […] With Dre, it’s just hard to keep him focused.”
Pope spent four years as Drummond’s teammate in Detroit, before signing a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in the offseason. And while some may take his words as sour grapes, it’s not exactly earth-shattering news to hear about Drummond’s free throw issues. His career numbers are rather… abysmal, hitting on just 38% of his shots from the charity stripe, while averaging about five attempts per game.
What was a bit shocking was KCP’s take on Drummond’s injury. After breaking his nose while playing his one year at UConn, Drummond continued to play while never taking care of a deviated septum in his Left Nostril.
“It was really a tough season for me to breathe,” Drummond says. “I didn’t have my whole entire left nostril. [It] was completely closed, so it was really tough for me to catch my wind. … It was just hard for me to get myself going. Not to use that as an excuse, but that’s just really what it was. It was really tough for me to fight through that, and it was really frustrating, which resulted into just the lack of effort.”
Caldwell-Pope had a bit of a different take on it, saying “some players knew, not everybody” about Drummond’s health issue. “He didn’t really talk about it as much, and it didn’t seem like was affecting him a lot.”
Yes KCP was approached for this piece on his former teammate, and yes he has every right to speak his mind, I’m not saying otherwise. But you can bet word will get around and when the Pistons face the Lakers on Halloween at the Staples Center, don’t be surprised if Drummond takes a shot at a driving Caldwell-Pope.