In the summer before his second season with the New Orleans Pelicans, Ryan Anderson experienced a great tragedy in his personal life. As most people have heard by now, Anderson’s girlfriend, Gia Allemand, passed away several days after attempting to hang herself. Anderson was reportedly one of the people who found Allemand at her home after the suicide attempt.
Understandably, Anderson has been away from the team and out of the media over the past few weeks. He’s been taking time to deal with the grief and all of those types of things, as well as the proceedings that follow the passing of a loved one.
However, in terms of the 2013-2014 NBA season, it now seems Anderson is ready to try and move on and focus on basketball. According to John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Anderson worked out with his Pelicans teammates on Wednesday, the first time such an event has happened since Allemand’s death.
There’s no telling how Anderson will deal with the death of his girlfriend when he gets back to playing basketball and how that will affect his game. It could weigh him down or it could serve as an inspiration; no one really knows. However, what’s certain is that the Pelicans are expecting a lot from Anderson.
Anderson’s ability as a stretch-four is a huge asset to this Pelicans team. Last season he averaged 16.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in 30.9 minutes per game while shooting 42.3 percent from the floor and 38.2 percent from three. However, he will give them more than just offense and rebounding in the upcoming season.
With New Orleans’ shallowness at the center position, the Pelicans have talked about giving Anthony Davis minutes at the five. If that happens, that will make Anderson’s time at the four of enormous importance. He will need to be a consistent threat offensively and help Davis out on the boards as Davis will likely be giving up size at times.
More importantly than basketball, though, it’s great to hear that Anderson is back with his teammates. This is a difficult time for him, obviously, so it’s a huge positive to seem him back with his comrades playing the game that he loves.