Andris Biedrins would love to forget about his ’09-10 season as it was mired in injuries and embarrassment.  Biedrins never could quite get his season going as he was stuck in neutral for one reason or another.  Injuries plagued him and caused him to lose his effectiveness on the court; not to mention his horrendous showing from the free throw line which reached an all-time low this season.  Add on Don Nelson playing head games and messing with Biedrins all season; it all added up to a season from hell for the Latvian bigman.

So it comes as no surprise that Biedrins had a lot of interesting things to say in a lengthy sit-down interview conducted back in his native Latvia.  Biedrins spoke about Don Nelson, his career plans, possible trades and more.  With the help of our Latvian correspondent, Felikss Neimanis we’ve transcribed the interview and here are some of the highlights.  The interview can be seen here.

On outsourcing his off-season training and rehab

“It was me and my agent’s decision, we decided to go our own way.  It’s a risk, but, at the same time, after the first injury early in the year, the Warriors said that it’s nothing special. When I had to do surgery, my agent and I, we were a bit disappointed, we thought that, maybe, surgery was the right course of action from the start. The franchise naturally tried everything to keep me in, because if I had surgery early on then I might have missed the entire season. We felt like the team made me play to quick after the first injury; so we decided to go our own way on this – our doctors and experts.”

On NBA culture

“The NBA is basically the second most popular sport in America after football. It’s just the mentality there. I can tell you right now, about our team, most of my teammates are egoists. But what can you do?  It’s important to have good veterans as the rookies and young guys will take after them.  Right now, I would say i don’t have a good relationship rather a neutral or friendly one with everyone on the team.  I don’t have any problems with any player and I don’t think anyone has a problem with me. Of course, we aren’t real big buddies, but our relationship is on a professional level and we can work successfully.”

On how long he intends to play for

“Well, it is what it is…it is what it is…The first few years when you are young you can run like a horse but now the injuries pile up. One year you sprain one ankle, the next year you sprain the other one and they don’t go away, they keep getting weaker and weaker. Then you sprain your back, then you have muscle surgery and they all aren’t going away. You will never get a new ankle and they start to ache; you start to feel the old injuries. So, if you play 6-8 years, you will have so many injuries, that I guess I won’t be playing a long time.  Something like playing till I’m 30 years old but I won’t aim a lot further than that. I don’t want to damage my health further.  The things I’ve seen in America from players that come to games in their fifteenth career year is not something I want because they look pretty bad.  It’s like Keith Smarth says to us “you start to really feel these injuries when you’re 40 years old or something, all these injuries, that you have gotten, when you were 20-25.” So I would never want to put myself in a position where I have to walk with the aide of a cane when I get older.”

On seeing the NBA as a business

“Yes, you play basketball but it’s your job. You do it for a living. You can walk away when you have achieved everything you longed for since you were a child. To insure the life for you, your kids and grandchildren. I just think, that you play these, I don’t know, ten years and you have achieved things and have earned enough that your next generations can live good, I don’t want to damage my health further, I will have achieved everything, that I had hoped for.”

On Nellie commenting about his free-throw shooting

“When he said I should practice underhanded; I felt very disrespected.  At one point I spoke to a Psychiatrist who reminded me of some things, but it’s not so bad that they send you and try to brainwash you. It’s mostly about believing in yourself, because, before this season it was more or less OK.  You start thinking about so many things at the free throw line that you forget everything and anything about the actual free throw motion and what you’ve practiced.”

On finishing out his career with the Warriors

“It’s very rare, that a player stays with one team. It’s very rare and every player travels during his career. It’s part of the business. It doesn’t really matter how good or bad you have played during the season. They actually wanted to trade me after the last season. Not this one, but the last, which was the best of my career, but it didn’t go through. So, I guess, if they trade me, there could be some nice changes involved, maybe I’ll be on a better team, with better teamwork.  When the rumors came out last year about me going to Phoenix, I would’ve loved to play with Steve Nash. Also, the Phoenix team, the city, it was all fun to think about. With a point guard like that, the game is different.”

“I do consider myself lucky. I consider myself lucky, because of the contract I have received. I feel I have had a successful career so far and individually I have reached a lot of goals that I have worked for my whole life. If we talk about the team, I’m lucky as well. If another team drafted me, maybe I would have never gotten a chance to prove myself and to show my abilities. You never know, maybe another team would have traded me, maybe I would have been out of the league in three years. Our team had faith in me, I didn’t play for two years, they kept me and I will be forever grateful for it to them.”

21 Responses

  1. Relly rell

    And stop worrying bout free throws. We never get enough fair calls to even get to the line anyway just make one and miss one trust me everybody will be satisfied.

  2. Relly rell

    For crying out loud Andris is 25 not 35. With all honesty as long as hes healthy hes more than a solid big so he need to stop crying, move in that weight room, get paid and play his role of big man basketball.

  3. SoCooLBob

    An interesting challenge.
    Currently … the reaction to the idea of shooting free throws underhand is

    Pretty Universally …

    I guess, in an effort to increase the positive reactions to just the
    idea of the underhand free throw, it might be a good idea, while
    you’re thinking about it … to compare it and the idea of doing it …
    yourself, and/or encouraging others to gay marriage, The Civil
    Rights Movement … Alice’s Restaurant? Something positive
    for you to consider that the MOST IMPORTANT THING is keeping

    Follow Through

  4. Wfan

    Given the mix of praise and criticism of the team, this seems very out of context to me. What especially bothers me is Andris’ belief he was “disrespected” because Nelson suggested he try underhand free throws. Obviously, he knows nothing about NBA history and Rick Barry’s success (90% career) at shooting free throws underhanded.

    But it’s all in Andris’ hands. If he can’t shoot free throws, he’ll be fouled on every shot. Since he can’t make shots more than 8 feet from the basket, it will be a long season.

  5. Felikss Neimanis

    At the same time, he did say all of it and some of it is not very nice.

  6. Felikss Neimanis

    I actually agree, it does sound worse without the video. And I also agree, that people shouldn’t be so mad at him, even if he said some interesting things.
    He doesn’t have many friendly relationships withing the team? Of course he doesn’t, the team consists of rookies and D-Leaguers and they just traded away his best friend on the team.
    He feels disrespected for the suggestion of shooting underhanded? Of course he does, who wouldn’t? (although, he probably should do it anyway)
    He’s pissed with the team for playing him too early? Of course he is, who wouldn’t be.
    And so on, and so on. This was like him telling a ugly chick in a bar “you’re ugly”. It’s tough for the person, but, at the same time, it’s the reality

  7. g4ryth3snail

    i think he just needs better coaching and better communication with his teammates for some sparks to fly. go warriors!

  8. Fans

    Agree CEO.

    If American fans could listen this interview in English, they would be Ok with it. You cant understand anything from just some words. You need to listen all interview (92min) .
    I am Latvian so I know it.

    And there are a lot of goods words for San Francisco . I do not know why they isnt here.

  9. Emils Ozerinskis

    Dudes! You are taking this to hard! Actualy interwiev is 92 minutes long video. As I am latvian I understand it. It is not so negative as it is translated here. Some of negative text the jurnalist draw out of AB, wath he didn’t mean. And here isn’t mention good thing’s about live in SanFrancisko… And what you want if GSW all the time trade away his Europen buddies?

    I’m sorry about speling mistakes.

  10. Seth

    Can’t blame the guy, the team sucks, the coach plays head games, they gave up on Randolph, let good plays go in Turiof and Morrow and on an on. The Warriors have no bench now and someone please tell Curry to keep his mouth guard in his mouth and walk like a man.

  11. JS

    AB is not strong enough to play 5, doesn’t have the shot to play 4 and with Ellis at 2 there is no way to stop other teams. He will just have to continue fronting in the post while the W’s scramble, I mean play “switching D”, and hope for steals and no injuries.

    And… there is no excuse for a free throw that is that bad, doesn’t he watch film of his release? Are there pro’s really helping him with his shot? I guess it’is just Nelly screwing up the heads of young players so I say trade this guy for someone with more confidence and who is ready to own the paint.

  12. John

    wow sounds like he just wants to play out his contract and then retire…no drive for a championship or anything. get him out of here.

  13. joshua

    he sounds like an idiot? why? because he’s being honest or because this is translated? it would be just like the W’s, FRD, to trade their assets low and get nothing in return, a la the jax trade, but i’m sure they’ll pull the trigger to accommodate. i mean, hell, we need more gadzurics, d. georges and radmonoviches on our team! playoffs here we come!

    i’m sure if you interviewed goose after any one of the seasons in which he played with boom dizzle + the we believes, his answers to some of the questions would be a lot different. most telling was the one where he brought up PHX and Nash. i mean, let’s face it, he’s right. now, this team isn’t really a team at all. it’s a bunch of egos out there getting theirs. but that game plan comes straight from the coach and it won’t change until the FO changes… just heard Lacob is planning on keeping them around “for a test drive” looks like the jokes on us.

  14. Bob Kennedy

    I confess. I have a hard time understanding the negative attitudes shared by Andris Biedrins
    and so far, everyone else in the world … about the
    What sort of personal violation is it to spend a little time lifting your arms from A to B and watching the ball go swish … what’s the emotional trauma in that .. it’s so EASY … except for the human brain … near as I can figure anyway.

  15. chuckl

    Yet another chapter in the sad, sorry soap opera that is the Warriors. I can’t blame Andris. He seems like a reasonable and intelligent young man. I respect his honesty and candor, but this is one sad-sack franchise. They pay too much for players, making them virtually untradeable and they have almost no identity as a team. Even before the season starts, they are in a hole, with a disgruntled veteran with a big salary. And no one wants to come here, even though the fans are among the most loyal and enthusiastic in the league. Expect Andris to be gone by October in exchange for a bag full of athletic supporters and sweatsocks. Same as it ever was.

  16. EMoney

    how about he becomes the players he was suppose to be and then talk like youve been disrespected….. he has horrible work ethics and really should be traded quickly

  17. FeatherRiverDan

    he sounds like an idiot to me…..better trade him soon or the warriors won’t get anymore then what they got for Steven Jackson!!!!!!!
    He felt “Disrespected”, the worst ever percentage in NBA HISTORY…..give me a break…..please go and go now!!!!!!!

  18. Felikss Neimanis

    I translated everything word-for-word. Nothing is taken out of context and Rasheed has summed up his thoughts perfectly. It would all mean the same in mandarin.

  19. Max in Missouri

    You have to respect his honesty.

    And really, it is not his fault that the Warriors overpaid him and the expectations on him are unrealistic.

  20. CEO

    This translation is weak. You can’t translate word by word from Latvian to English, it completely steals the main idea.

    Lost in translation, in my opinion.