Drummond apologizes for sulking during clincher

The Detroit News
Andre Drummond sits on the bench as Pistons teammates celebrate their win over the Wizards on Friday night.

Auburn Hills — In the midst of the Pistons celebrating a win that clinched their first playoff spot in seven years, Andre Drummond wasn’t mentally there.

He sulked on the bench and moped around on the court Friday against the Wizards, in the franchise’s biggest moment since 2009. Reggie Jackson smiled and hollered. Aron Bayes laughed and hugged teammates.

In hindsight, Drummond says he would have done it differently. He realizes that he could have handled the situation better.

“I apologized to the team and the fans and you guys can hear me now,” Drummond said Tuesday. “I shouldn’t have done that.”

During several timeouts, Drummond was away from the huddles and coach Stan Van Gundy physically pulled him into the postgame celebration.

“On my part, it was selfish, but everybody has emotions and everybody goes through certain part of their life,” Drummond said. “When we won the game, that’s when it really hit me, so I couldn’t control the feeling I had.

“I did apologize for the way I acted. It looked a certain way that it wasn’t.”

While many fans watched on TV and saw Drummond sulking in the last nine minutes, he said it wasn’t because Van Gundy pulled him from the game for his poor free-throw shooting or production (eight points and six rebounds). Drummond said he was thinking about a friend who died earlier this season.

Drummond, 22, didn’t blame his behavior on immaturity or youth; he took responsibility for his actions.

“Age doesn’t matter. I’ve been here for four years, so that’s unacceptable for what I did, no matter what the circumstances,” he said. “I did apologize and something like that won’t happen again. That was selfish on my part; I should have been celebrating with my teammates.”

The Monday Drive: Drummond isn’t going anywhere

The fallout on social media in the aftermath of the celebration seemed to tilt against Drummond but he didn’t let that bother him. He focused on trying to move forward.

On Twitter, he acknowledged that he wasn’t pouting about the game and that his friend was in his thoughts, but that didn’t come across clearly and some media outlets ran with what they saw.

“Everybody was watching. All types of videos came out and I didn’t pay it any mind because I knew what was really going on with me,” he said. “I wasn’t frustrated with myself; I was thinking about something else throughout the game. Obviously I didn’t have a good showing in the game but everybody has games like that.”

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard