Coming out of the University of California, Ryan Anderson was unknown to most casual fans last season as a rookie. Despite being the Pac-10 player of the year in 2008, he was overshadowed by fellow West Coast young players such as Kevin Love, Eric Gordon and O.J. Mayo.
It’s hard for a late first-round pick with a generic name, no visible tattoos and no eye-popping athleticism to garner much national attention — especially playing in a small market on a losing team. But Anderson slowly started putting up respectable numbers and earned consistent minutes after scoring 32 points in back-to-back wins over the Hawks in mid-November.
And then it took something a little bit different for people to really start knowing how Ryan Anderson was.
Midway through the season, Anderson and then-teammate Brook Lopez got together and made a comedy TV show to put on YouTube. The show, called “The Brook & Ryan Show,” followed the two Nets big men while they participated in activities NBA players ordinarily don’t partake in, such as trick-or-treating and attending Comic-Con.
It was a hit. New Jersey fans loved the chance to see their two rookie big men being themselves, and the videos quickly spread across the internet. While maybe not groundbreaking on a comedy or documentary level, the clips provided fans to see the personality of these two NBA players — and it’s rare to see NBA players being themselves without any censorship or supervision (or, at least it used to be).
It’s something that, obviously, Anderson can’t do with Lopez anymore since he’s been traded to the Magic. But he wishes he could.
“Me and Brook are real close. He’s one of my real good buddies,” Anderson said. “I don’t know if we can continue to do the TV show or anything like that, but we definitely keep in touch.”
Anderson doesn’t know if producing another TV show with the Magic is something that will happen — it’s safe to say he’s been pretty busy so far — but he certainly entertained the thought.
“You mean like a show with these guys? Maybe, I think that stuff’s kind of fun,” Anderson said. “There are a lot of creative guys on the team. Dwight’s creative, JJ’s creative… everybody’s creative.”
For now, Anderson is concentrating on basketball. He’s pushing for starting minutes while Rashard Lewis is suspended, as Anderson has been one of the team’s most impressive players this preseason. He’ll look to continue his strong play — averaging 14 points per game and shooting 50 percent from 3-point range — tonight against Chicago.
Click after the jump to see clips of the Brook & Ryan Show.
In the month leading up to the season, we’ll take a look at the Orlando Magic by featuring a different player, coach, or storyline.
Sept. 28: Training camp begins – Sept. 29: Mickael Pietrus – Sept. 30: Anthony Johnson – Oct. 1: Flexibility – Oct. 2: Linton Johnson III – Oct. 3: Matt Barnes – Oct. 4: Shot selection – Oct. 5: Dwight’s offensive game – Oct. 7: JJ Redick – Oct. 8: Expectations – Oct. 12: Marcin Gortat – Oct. 13: Preseason