Clippers center DeAndre Jordan has been the subject of much of the NBA trade speculation this week, but Thursday morning, he was in New York to talk about something else: Hitting people with sticks.
Jordan has been working with lacrosse star Brendan Mundorf, learning the fastest-growing sport in North America.
Yep, DeAndre Jordan is learning how to play lacrosse.
He also thinks the NBA should adopt some of the rules.
“We should be able to hit somebody with a stick at least one time in the game,” Jordan said, while Mundorf tried not to laugh. “Everybody gets to hit somebody at least one time per game. Anything goes, it doesn’t matter.”
Jordan himself tends to play with an “anything goes” personality, so it’s not shocking that he would be open to playing a sport that differs so much from the one he has made a career in.
The YouTube video above shows Mundorf, the Denver Outlaws and Philadelphia Wings attacker, teaching Jordan the fundamentals of the game such as cradling, shooting and passing.
Not surprising, the only way Jordan was able to get the ball in the net was by dunking it – sort of. He dropped the stick and threw the ball in from around the back of the net.
“I didn’t know what to do with it,” Jordan said. “When he started passing the ball, I thought I caught it but the ball went 100 feet behind me. You really have to focus in and like he said, become one with the stick.”
As for the recent trade rumors, Jordan told ESPN’s Mike & Mike on Thursday that he’s prepared for whatever may come.
“I love L.A. I love the Clippers. I love my teammates and everything that we stand for. But at the end of the day it is a business and like I said I’ll still be doing the same thing that I love, which is playing basketball, and no matter which team I’m on I’ll still be having a great time.”
So until a decision is made, at least there’s lacrosse.
Like in basketball, lacrosse players must know how to move their bodies and read plays in a similar fashion, but must do so with a stick that ranges from 2½-5 feet. And rarely, if ever, do you find 6-foot-11, 265-pound lacrosse players.
“I love to advocate teaching the game to young kids and advocating for the game,” Mundorf said. “He’s the biggest kid I’ve ever taught lacrosse to.”
It was health and fitness that brought Jordan and Mundorf together, as the two of them both work with Rockin’ Refuel Energy, educating athletes of all ages in all sports about the benefits of proper nutrition and training.
Jordan’s lacrosse training could potentially have a positive effect on the sport as well.
Lacrosse is most popular in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions with Mundorf’s hometown of Baltimore, Md., being the epicenter, and has a reputation of being a predominantly white, elitist sport.
But the reputation is rapidly changing as lacrosse has spread to the West Coast. In 1999, the University of Denver became the first school west of the Mississippi to sponsor the sport at the Division I level. Denver became an absolute force when they lured six-time NCAA championship coach Bill Tierney away from Princeton 10 years later. The Pioneers haven’t missed an NCAA tournament since.
Mundorf travels all over the country putting on clinics in areas where the sport is still relatively new, such as the Midwest. With Jordan’s visibility, the two are hoping to bring new faces to the sport.
“With his popularity, I’m sure a lot of people that probably haven’t heard of lacrosse have probably seen the video,” Mundorf said. “I think things like this are a great way to get people who played other sports involved.”
“I want to see the sport grow even more than it is now,” Jordan said. “It’s a fun sport and it definitely keeps you active. The more people we can get involved, the better.”
Jordan said he plans to continue to pursue the game and Mundorf feels that with more practice, he has the potential to become a great player.
“It’s a fun game, I’m really learning and getting better at it,” Jordan said. “I’m going to join a couple leagues in my community.”
Looks like posterization isn’t just for basketball anymore.