The Brooklyn Nets have easily been the most active team this offseason. Their blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics brought in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry. In addition, the Nets also signed free agent Alan Anderson away from division rivals Toronto Raptors.
Anderson, 31, broke into the league with the Charlotte Bobcats back in 2005. He averaged just over five points a game in 53 games for the Cats until he was waived by the club in November of 2006. From there, Anderson globetrotted around Europe, Mexico and China, playing for an array of teams with one aim: getting back to the NBA.
In 2012, the call came. The 2011-12 season was yet another year of pessimism and rebuilding for the Raptors. Through a string of injuries and releases, the franchise was in need of a couple bench warmers. Anderson indeed warmed the bench but only after putting up significant numbers beforehand. In fact, he started 12 of the last 17 games for Toronto, averaging 27 minutes and 9.6 points per game. That was enough to earn himself a one-year deal for the following season.
Playing in 65 games the next year, Anderson had a career year in almost every offensive and defensive category. He averaged 10.7 points per game and had career highs in steals, assists, rebounds, three point shots made and free throws. From the brink in Europe, Anderson has made a name for himself in the toughest league of them all. That leads us to the present day. The Nets of Brooklyn signed Anderson to a two-year deal, with the second year being a player option. Anderson is a classic NBA story of a player being snubbed by the league only to work his way back. That doesn’t take anything away from the journey, however.
Anderson is sure to be proud, thankful, humble and just excited to be back playing against the best. “Once I left, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, how long is it going to take me to get back? When am I getting back?’” At the twilight of his career, Anderson is sure to be going nowhere other than America from now on. He now finds himself on a Nets team that is being tipped for the title.