Â Wendell Maxey Jr. from Hoopsworld.com tells us that Drew Gooden can’t take all the credit for the way he hoops it up for the Cleveland Cavaliers.Â Nope. Part of the praise belongs to his old man.Gooden’s father, Andrew Gooden, played pro-basketball in Ã„Ã¤nekoski, Finland in the fall of 1977 for Ã„Ã¤nekosken Huima, the local basketball team that played in the Finnish championship series.
As the Gooden family knows, basketball has no boundaries or timetable. It’s merely a simple game that can be past down from generation to generation and Cavs fans can be thankful that one Gooden past in along to another.
Today it’s the younger Gooden, lesser known as Andrew Melvin Gooden, who is reaping the benefits from those hardwood genes and showing off some All-Star swagger for the 17-12 Cavs this season.
Gooden continues to grow into the player Cleveland hoped he would when they acquired the 6’11 forward two years ago from the Orlando Magic to replace a bolting Carlos Boozer. On the season, Gooden is averaging 11.2 points and 8.70 rebounds per game and is once again emerging as one of the leagues leading rebounders.
Drawing near to the half-way mark of the season, Gooden ranks #6 in the NBA in offensive rebounds per 48 minutes(5.9) and #7 in the in rebounds per 48 minutes(15.6) and has started in all 27 games this season for Cleveland despite being hampered by a lingering groin injury just weeks ago.
But even with the basketball traits from his pops or the All-Star level of play from Gooden this year, the closest he’ll get to making the Eastern Conference squad is by rubbing elbows with the leading vote getter in the East who also happens to share the same locker room.
LeBron James has received 808,570 votes to start at forward for the East and looks to be the lone Cavs representative all the All-Star game, February 18th in Las Vegas.
Apparently Gooden’s dad didn’t pass down any luck with the basketball skills.
When you play in the East you also play in the shadows of some talented forwards, even some on your own team. Gooden knows this. It’s not only LeBron James and hoopaholics stuffing the ballot box for the “Chosen One” that he has to watch over his shoulder. Take a gander at the NBA All-Star ballot yourself: Paul Pierce, Jermaine O’Neal, and Chris Bosh share the column and makes it hard for any NBA fan to vote for just one forward. And that’s without mentioning Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Price. Perhaps Gooden isn’t ready to claim many votes along side these other players. At least not yet.
No worries though. That time will come. It’s just not right now.
Gooden doesn’t need to win a popularity contest to show his worth for the Cavs this season, although the deserved recognition would be nice. He just needs to keep it up, snagging double-doubles (10 and counting) and remain a constant in the low post for Cleveland as they trudge towards postseason play. At this point in Gooden’s career this should be the reality. Making the All-Star team is nice and all but in Cleveland the ring is the thing.
And that’s something even his dad would be proud of.