Andre Roberson exit interview: rehab, recovery and Thunder defense

Andre Roberson #21 of the OKC Thunder reacts to a play against the Milwaukee Bucks on October 31, 2017 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andre Roberson #21 of the OKC Thunder reacts to a play against the Milwaukee Bucks on October 31, 2017 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Andre Roberson exit interview offered insight on his recovery and insights on the OKC Thunder

Steven Adams and Patrick Patterson tied for the most lighthearted exit interview. Andre Roberson’s interview was probably the most focused. As the starting shooting guard discussed his rehab, the perspective gained and how the team must improve.

With that let’s get to the quotes.

Roberson on what it was like watching from the sidelines

"I mean, it was definitely tough to watch. It was kind of frustrating. I’m kind of mad at myself, just kind of figuring out ways I could have prevented it from happening, but I was also telling myself, everything happens for a reason. I’m a firm believer in that.The games we were losing is definitely frustrating, especially in the Playoffs. We were talking smack, but I’m not a big fan of other guys talking smack to our guys. We’re always going to have our back. It was just frustrating I couldn’t be out there to help them."

This quote is similar from Roberson’s quotes when he met with reporters for the first time after the injury. It offers perspective on the mental side of sports and how difficult the psychological hurdles of recovery can be.

Some players can overcome injuries unfazed, see Westbrook. Whereas others never fully recover such as Derrick Rose. Let’s hope Roberson falls in line with his teammate on this one.

On perspective gained from being out

"I mean, just kind of looked at things from like a coach’s perspective to kind of see how I could mend the relationship of player-coach, what they’re trying to get at, what the players see, what they’re out there feeling, and just stuff like that, kind of helped me out.It was definitely a cool experience seeing it from a different perspective, being in the back, watching it on TV to being on the sideline with the guys."

Roberson discussing mending player-coach relationships stood out. If all were well within the team as Oklahoma City led their fan base to believe then mending relationships wouldn’t be necessary.

Between Roberson mending relationships and Carmelo Anthony revealing the lack of strategy. Billy Donovan has some self-evaluation to conduct during the summer.

On where the team must improve

"More from Thunderous IntentionsStealing one player from every Southwest Division team for the OKC ThunderShould the OKC Thunder chase after a disgruntled hometown hero?3 OKC Thunder players who can step up in Aleksej Pokusevski’s absenceAleksej Pokusevski sidelined approximately 6 weeks with ankle injuryDamian Lillard does not fit with the OKC ThunderWe’ve got to be committed. Every game, every quarter, things might change. Schemes might change, how we guard a certain player. We’ve just got to stay committed to it even if they score once and we feel bad, just trust and believe in the system."

Thunder Nation this quote should come as a breath of fresh air, though don’t get too excited yet. OKC says a lot of the right things, but it does not always transfer onto the court. Saying is the first step to doing, now the Thunder must back up their statements on the hardwood next season.

Committing on the defensive end for the full 48 minutes will require an immense effort. Roberson has that covered, will his teammates follow his lead? In due time we shall see.

On what he can currently do during his rehab process

"Right now, not really much. I do a lot of form shooting, but right now it’s more of a period of mental state and things I can work on. I’ve been talking with a lot of guys in terms of how to approach things, staying positive and just becoming that leader, vocal leader, some things I’ve always been kind of shy to."

This kind of growth could be noticed during Game 5 of the Thunder’s first round series. When OKC began their comeback during the timeouts in addition to cheering his teammates on Roberson could be seen talking to coaches and players calling out defense.

This is a tremendous sign of the growth Roberson referenced.

On the benchmark he’s most looking forward to during rehab

"Run. That’s one of my favorite things to do is run. As you guys probably saw, I just started stairs. I’m getting better with that and getting my quad back. Atrophy is an MFer, so it’s good."

I had heard the term ‘atrophy’ before but googled the definition anyway. Atrophy is the deterioration of muscle when it is unable to be used. Given Roberson ruptured his patellar tendon on January 28th, and had surgery on the 29th beginning to run in May seems like a solid timetable.

Many pundits expect Dre to miss the start of the 2018-19 campaign, this scribe believes he’ll be ready and better than ever.

On his favorite part of the season

"To see us all clicking finally, playing the right way, playing for each other. That was definitely the most fun, most joyful basketball when nobody really cared who scored. Whoever got the credit, got the credit. That’s the way basketball should be played. I would say that."

Dre’s favorite moment is probably the same for many Thunder fans. As it was the first time it looked like things were coming together. Then as Roberson put it something unfortunate happened, injuries happen many teams dealt injury trouble.

Losing a perennial defensive player of the year candidate diminished the OKC Thunder’s chance at contention. All teams dealt with injuries, Oklahoma City was one of the least injured teams.

Yet at the same time once Dre went down the team not only lost their defensive anchor they lost their team identity. In conclusion as Roberson says everything happens for a reason, maybe someday we’ll know what that reason was.