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Clippers Free Agent Retrospective: Alan “Double A” Anderson

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Alan Anderson was a good teammate for the Clippers, but his on-court impact was virtually non-existent.

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Key Clipper Facts:

  • Played in 30 games as a Clipper, averaging 10 minutes per game.
  • Averaged 2.9 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.4 assists per game.
  • Shot 37.5% from the field and 31.8% from behind the three point line.
  • Goes by “Double A”

Expectation:

When the Clippers signed Anderson, our Clips Nation writer Robert Flom noted that he expected “Alan [to] slide into 3rd on the depth chart, but [assumed] he gets minutes at some point this year, especially if the Clippers go small.” In general, this was the expectation: Anderson, being a 34 year old, 8 year NBA veteran, would step up and play in small line ups, as well as back up Johnson and Mbah a Moute when there was foul trouble or injuries.

He was technically brought in as a “3 and D” guy, even though he shot in the low 30% range from three for most of his career. Clips Nation fans, I believe it’s fair to say, were optimistic, though, believing that the playmaking ability of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul could give him more opportunities to get open shots.

And, finally, we expected him to be a good teammate. Again, as Robert noted in his blog post, it was rumored that John Wall wanted Anderson to come back to D.C., even though Anderson only played in 13 games as a Wizard. At the time, we did not think the Clippers had many “locker room issues” (assuming that any DJ versus CP3 beef was in fact over exaggerated), but we also knew Anderson could help keep spirits high during what would inevitably be a very stressful, high-stakes season.

Reality:

As demonstrated in the “Key Clippers Facts” section, Anderson did not get many chances. The season did not start very well for him, given that he was rehabbing for an injury. Doc decided to gradually return him to action, but, in the end, that slow ramping up to playing time never really had a pay off. In total, Anderson only played 30 games — and only 7 games after the All-Star game. In fact, 12 of those 30 games came in December, as injuries forced the Clippers to get creative.

It’s hard to use +/- in the context of a player like Anderson, who might be getting a lot of garbage time minutes that don’t mean very much. But, for what it’s worth, he was a -2.6 while on the floor. Furthermore, the idea that Anderson would get better quality looks because he would be playing with great playmakers proved foolish because he hardly got to play significant minutes with the Clippers’ core.

But where Anderson did redeem himself was in the “intangible” categories. As I wrote in February, Anderson was a beloved member of the team. The Clippers organization even made this short segment about him:

He had handshakes for several of his teammates, was constantly cheering and engaged while he was on the bench, and earned the trust of this Clippers team — a team that, we later would find out, was pretty fractured on the inside. He was the “glue guy” — and he “brought the spirit.”

Legacy:

Although Anderson continued his reputation as being a great teammate in Los Angeles, his “legacy” as a Clipper will most likely get washed away pretty quickly. This is partially due to the lack of success that the team had, but also because many of the players he became good friends with are no longer in Los Angeles. Anderson was on a one year, minimum contract, which already limited his ability to make a legacy for himself. But, even more impactful, guys like Felton and Speights, with whom he played, are no longer on the team to keep his handshakes and enthusiasm going.

In the end, Anderson’s legacy will live within the larger narrative of the Clippers’ inability to find a solid Small Forward to play with their core-four. Anderson is lucky that he was on the same roster as Wes Johnson and Paul Pierce, who were the focus of much of Clips Nation’s frustration, or he might have faced more ire himself.