Andray Blatche needed Brooklyn

New positive surroundings bringing out best in late-blooming power forward

Updated: December 11, 2012, 4:51 PM ET
By David Thorpe | ESPN Insider

Andray BlatcheRocky Widner/NBAE/Getty ImagesBy focusing solely on shots near the rim, Andray Blatche has increased his rebounds and scoring.

In the working world, you never hear an applicant say the company will help them improve their skills or be more productive; they want to know what you can do for them and aren't necessarily interested in what the company can do for you. They just want to hear you say it.

However, some very smart companies, including very sharp NBA teams, are constantly on the lookout for quality people they can help and in turn reap the benefits of that development. When helped just a little to hone their skills and talent, these blossoming individuals can do a lot for the franchise. Think of what the Los Angeles Lakers did for Lamar Odom -- taking a malcontent and seemingly selfish soul and turning him into a borderline star.

The Brooklyn Nets are now doing the same for forward/center Andray Blatche, who is quietly having a career year after seven frustrating seasons with a horrible Washington Wizards team. Now the Nets are reaping the benefits of their faith in not only Blatche, but also their own ability to reshape Blatche's surroundings, and thus, his approach to the game. If he was in Sacramento right now, none of this would be happening. Instead, he has blossomed in Brooklyn, and his future might finally look like it should.


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