Recently, that all changed for the Oklahoma City Thunder forward. He was able to step back on the court during the NBA restart.
Andre Roberson, a defensive specialist in the NBA
Before he came into the NBA, Roberson was known for his defensive skills. He played in college at the University of Colorado. During his time there, he was one of the top rebounders in the country. During the 2011-12 season, he finished third in the country in rebounds, and during the 2012-13 season, he finished second. At the end of his junior season, he averaged 10.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.
Roberson was named first-team All-Pac 12 his sophomore and junior year. He was also named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year his junior season. After an impressive junior campaign, Roberson declared for the 2013 NBA draft. The Minnesota Timberwolves selected him with the 26th pick, but the Thunder acquired him later on draft night. During his rookie season, he spent time playing with the Thunder and the Tulsa 66ers of the Development League.
After his rookie season, Roberson became a starter on a talented Thunder team. He wasn’t known for his scoring ability, but he was one of the top defenders on the team. Roberson primarily played the shooting guard position for the Thunder. During the 2016 Western Conference Finals, Roberson had one of his best performances. He finished with a career-high 17 points and 12 rebounds in a Thunder win as they took a commanding 3-1 lead over the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors came back and won the series 4-3. Roberson had a productive 2016-17 season as he was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.
Andre Roberson’s injuries were a huge setback to his career
In January of 2018, Roberson ruptured his left patellar tendon against the Detroit Pistons and underwent surgery. He was ruled out for the rest of the season. Roberson planned on making a return for the 2018-19 season, but he suffered a small invasion fracture in his knee and missed the entire season.
It’s tough on a player when they are forced to miss games due to an injury, and for Roberson, it seemed as though things weren’t going well for him. The Thunder missed his presence on the court and the defensive skills that he brought to the team. People started to wonder when he would make a return to the team.
Andre Roberson returning to the court during the NBA restart
After months and months of rehab, Roberson rejoined the team in July. Just when he thought that his career could be over, he had another shot. Roberson worked so hard during his rehab to get back to full strength and reunite with his team.
Roberson got to step back on the court for the first time in over two and a half years. During an exhibition game against the Boston Celtics, Roberson checked into the game and received a standing ovation from his team. It was a great sight to see him walking onto the court with a smile on his face. He went through a lot, and even though he thought about giving up, he kept pushing.