OAKLAND, Calif. – NBA scorekeepers have already had to work hard to keep track of Andre Drummond's rebounds on their courtside computers this season. And if one of those computers malfunctioned, the Detroit Pistons center just might be able to fix it, too.
"I've been a tech guy since I was a kid," Drummond told Yahoo Sports. "The older I got, the more interested I got in it. I know a lot about parts and stuff like that. If something was to mess up in a computer, tech kind of stuff, like the motorized stuff, I know a lot about the software stuff.
"I learned from trial and error. It started off with my computer at home. It used to freeze a lot. I used to find out why and I would fix it."
Said former Pistons president Joe Dumars, who drafted Drummond: "His ability to fix computers spoke to how he had the mind to analyze things and figure them out quickly."
Drummond isn't quite ready to quit his regular job. Now in his fourth NBA season with the Pistons, he has transformed into one of the league's most dominating centers, averaging 18.8 points and 19.3 rebounds. He became the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain with three 20-point, 20-rebound games in the first six contests of the season and had a career-high 29 boards in a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 3.
"It's just a will," Drummond said. "The will … to get the ball most people won't jump for. I just put myself out there knowing it gives my team the opportunity to either score offensively or even get a chance to start the break."
Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy has coached All-Star centers Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard. Van Gundy thinks Drummond could become the best rebounder of them all.
"As a rebounder, 'Dre is as good as anybody, if not the best that I've been around," Van Gundy said. "He is an outstanding rebounder. He just goes out and gets the ball. I think he is as good a rebounder and can be as good a rebounder as anybody there has been."
Drummond is making $3.2 million in the final year of his rookie contract this season. The Pistons didn't agree on terms to a contract extension with him prior to the Nov. 2 deadline, making him a restricted free agent next summer. Van Gundy said the move not to re-sign Drummond was in order to keep salary-cap space available to sign other free agents before they re-sign Drummond.
"Andre really, really wants to win," Van Gundy told Yahoo Sports. "We laid out the difference of where we'd be salary-cap wise. It's almost $13 million. He wants us and [Pistons owner] Tom [Gores] to have all the resources to build this thing. He wants to be part of a winner."
Drummond said he intends to re-sign with the Pistons.
"I love it here. I plan on being here," Drummond told Yahoo.
Drummond was the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft after playing one season at the University of Connecticut. He has been taking summer courses at UConn since leaving and is considering majoring in computers and information technology once he completes his general education studies. He also loves photography, is active on social media and would like to meet a mentor in the tech industry.
"I'm looking at it more seriously," he said. "I'm trying to find out what my actual knack is for it."
Drummond also wants to take up acting.
"I've done stuff for our team," Drummond said. "When I go back to school, one of the things I am going to minor in is drama. There are a lot of things up there I want to do, so I'm just trying to put it all into place."
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