An Open Letter to Andre Roberson

OKC Thunder, Andre Roberson (Photo by Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder, Andre Roberson (Photo by Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images) /
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- DECEMBER 25: Andre Roberson /

An Open Letter to Andre Roberson


Seeing you on the floor last Saturday sucked. Seeing you need to get wheeled off sucked. I’m sure you don’t need to hear that, but I wanted you to know. I also wanted you to know the reason I hate it so much is because you’re important.

Basketball analysts love to talk about numbers and stats and highlights and if we’re being honest, you don’t have a lot of those. The only way to appreciate what you bring to the Thunder is to actually watch. Let it be known though, all who watch feel it.

It’s palpable when you are on and off the court. There is a noticeable edge that displays itself in more than the 12 point difference to the defensive rating when you are on the floor. When you’re around, the team is tougher, grittier and more unselfish.

Dre, you make me feel like a basketball connoisseur. I have converted many of my friends to Thunder fans since I have lived in Alabama, and one of my favorite moments was when you inked that 3 year, 30 million dollar contract. The Thunder organization got a great value in my opinion. When it flashed across one of my friends notifications, they said something to the effect of, “Thirty million and shoots less than fifty percent on free throws? Come on.”

I was ticked, I sent him highlight after highlight, I sent him articles about your film habits. I told him, “If you’re going to be a Thunder fan, you’re going to be an educated one.” He learned how pivotal you are to Thunder success. After your injury, he was one of the first to text me. He knows how devastating this is for the team.

But Dre, I’m writing to you for another reason. I’m writing because you mean something more to OKC than just the on court stuff. Bro, you’re an icon.

That might seem heavy but let me explain. So much of the league is about individual success. The story lines seem to revolve around the players much more than franchises. In a world where individual brands seem to rule the headlines, OKC has Andre Roberson. Night in and night out, he comes to the gym and thanklessly defends positions 1-4, thanklessly fulfilling a role few can take on and doing it to a level few have ever attained.

I’ve been playing basketball all my life, so I know what defense feels like. It hurts. Its about effort, persistence and courageousness. Its about being more competitive, more hungry and more tenacious than the guy trying to beat you. You take it to another level, as you become a student of those you seek to beat. I’ve never seen somebody do it like you, man.

You see, the great image in team sports is the man who gives everything of himself in seeking the team’s goal. So many players in this league are wrapped up in their narrative. How will I be remembered? What do the fans think of me? Am I loved? Respected? Revered? You’re different. You like winning. Its evident that you don’t get bogged down in that other stuff.

And because of that, Dre, you have one fan who respects you more than most. Who admires the work that you do. Who aspires to be as tenacious a husband, father and friend as Andre Roberson is as a defender. That’s why you’re an icon.

The cool thing about icons is that it doesn’t matter if they are playing or not. They stand for what they stand for and they represent what they represent. So know this, you can have a profound influence on the team this year, and though I’m eager to see you back on the court next season, I know that you’re impact is still being felt in the community, the city and on the team regardless.

Signed, a fan who is as grateful for what you represent as what you do,

Ted Dower