OKC Thunder Media Day: Andre Roberson updates on return date

Andre Roberson, OKC Thunder, (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andre Roberson, OKC Thunder, (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Although Andre Roberson won’t be fully participating in training camp he spoke at the OKC Thunder Media Day with news on his progress and return date.

Returning from the first serious injury of his pro career Andre Roberson will be keen to get back on track with the OKC Thunder. Although he’ll be at training camp it won’t be in a full capacity. The fact he’s even on site at all is a positive. Rupturing his patella tendon was perhaps one of the most serious injuries any Thunder fan has witnessed in the franchises decade of existence.

While Roberson has been working his way back to the court he’s not simply looking at regaining his defensive dominance. Rather, as TI writer Stephen Dolan sussed out Roberson has enlisted the services of ‘lethal shooter’ Chris Matthews. The shooting coach has garnered excellent results with other clients (Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) with wonky shots and efficiency issues.

Armed with the knowledge his absence sent the OKC Thunder into a bit of a tail spin last season Roberson can be confident in his position. That said, for both Roberson and the team to grow and capitalize on his defensive prowess growing his offensive skill set is a must. Although no one else on the roster can replace him there are other young assets who will be pushing to take his minutes. With that Roberson hit the dais and addressed the media.

Any updates on your return date? 

"Uh, I’m not really putting a specific date on anything. I just said around December because to me there is a return to basketball and then there’s a return to performance and being back to my elite self. Me being cleared to play basketball are two different things, there’s a lot of variables that go into it. That’s why I said December, but I’ll probably be cleared to play before then."

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Roberson gave a detailed answer on what he meant by earlier comments about a December return. Although it was an insightful answer there is still no official timetable for his return.

Roberson did not speak directly about his shooting coach, but he did discuss working on his full range and improving his free throw stroke.

How is rehab going, has it been a nightmare?

‘It’s a nightmare, but I enjoy it, you’ve got to enjoy everything in life. There’s day’s I’ve dreaded it,but I’ve come to peace with myself now and it is what it is. I’ve enjoyed it, it helped me grow as a basketball player.’

Is Steven Adams personality just as funny in private vs. how he is with the media?

‘For sure yeah, just a more little more sensitive around the media, I should say (laughter). He is definitely the same way.’

Interesting comments about Melo

Roberson followed a stand many Thunder players took during Media Day in stating it’s unfortunate the team did not keep Melo, and he will miss him.

Per Game Table

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Generated 9/23/2018.

This season marks Andre Roberson’s sixth as a pro all with the OKC Thunder. With the added depth this squad is poised to compete among the elite in the west. Therefore, Roberson’s return will definitely improve the defense, yet the hope is his time off the floor will result in improvements on both sides of the hardwood.

Roberson seemed much more upbeat than when he spoke during his exit interview, although his return date is unclear, he appears to be inching closer day-by-day. When Roberson does ultimately return OKC will have one of the best defensive trio’s in the entire NBA in Roberson, Adams and Paul George.

Next. Andre Roberson connected to lethal shooting coach. dark

Since Roberson cannot participate in the contact portion of training camp, perhaps he can show off some of the new moves he has added to his offensive arsenal.