NEW ORLEANS — As a child growing up in Sacramento, Calif., Ryan Anderson all but idolized Peja Stojakovic and the European’s ability to sink 3-pointers.
As a city, New Orleans loved watching Stojakovic do the same thing as the Hornets made a run to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and a Southwest Division title.
Now Anderson wouldn’t mind being a bridge between the two.
The 6-foot-10 3-point specialist is in his first year with the Hornets and when asked if he would like filling the Stojakovic role, his eyes glowed with joy.
“I would love to fill those shoes,” Anderson said.
In 2011-12, Anderson averaged a career-high 16.1points per game and show 39.3 percent from 3-point range, making 166 treys.
Anderson was the NBA Comeback Player of the Year in 2011-12 and started 61 games in the lockout-shortened season.
Still, Orlando didn’t have Anderson in their plans and, in the offseason, was happy to ship him to New Orleans for Gustavo Ayon.
Beside the jump in quality food the foodie will get in New Orleans, he’s also excited about being a brick in the foundation of the renewed Hornets franchise.
“This is a team that was excited to bring me in,” Anderson said. “What more could I ask for from a team? Orlando situation, I got traded. They didn’t want me with their system and their buildup and New Orleans does. It’s a situation where I feel really blessed doing what I’m doing and to be here.”
So far, Anderson has had no complaints about New Orleans. In fact, he loves it. From the food and the restaurants to those who greet him around the city, New Orleans has been a refreshing new chapter for the 24-year-old veteran.