Landry hustles his way to role in NBA
POSTED: Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 6:04pm
New Orleans, La — Editor’s note: The following article appears on Hornets.com courtesy of Hoop Magazine, the official magazine of the NBA. Pick up a copy of the March/April 2012 issue or visit www.hoopmag.com for more features on the league’s players.
Each time Carl Landry scores a basket during a home game in New Orleans, the Hornets’ public-address system plays the brief audio clip “Every day I’m hustlin’!” The sound bite, taken from a popular Rick Ross song, is a fitting tribute to a fifth-year player who had to scratch and claw his way to earning a permanent role in the NBA. (1)
“Ever since I entered the league, nothing was given to me,” describes the 28-year-old Landry, who wasn’t picked until the second round of the 2007 draft. “I had to work for everything. When I first came into the NBA, people tried to poke holes in me. They said I’m unathletic and that I wasn’t tall enough (to thrive in the paint) and a lot of other stuff. It’s not the size of the dog; it’s the fight in the dog. That’s something I tell myself all the time. Going out there and outworking people gets you a long way.” (2)
As the reconfigured Hornets begin a new era in the Big Easy, they’d do well to follow their power forward’s simple words of advice. Landry – the rare player who seems more comfortable as a reserve than a starter – is focused on doing whatever he can to help. (3)
“Coming off the bench, playing center, playing small forward, it doesn’t matter,” the 6-foot-9, 248-pounder says. “I’m just happy to be out there, grateful for the opportunity to play. I’m excited about any opportunity that I have.”
(1) Landry received zero interest from major NCAA basketball programs, after a nondescript high school career in Milwaukee. He ended up at a junior college in Indiana, where he blossomed, then finished his college career at Purdue.
(2) It did during the 2011 playoffs. Landry’s relentless play in the paint was a key reason the Hornets won Games 1 and 4 against a supersized Lakers frontcourt.
(3) Landry has come off the bench in more than three-fourths of his career NBA games.