Andris Biedrinš
Andris Biedriņš is a Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

n professional basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 player who plays the power forward
Power forward (basketball)
Power forward is a position in the sport of basketball. The position is referred to in playbook terms as the four position and is commonly abbreviated "PF". It has also been referred to as the "post" position. Power forwards play a role similar to that of center in what is called the "post" or "low...

 and center
Center (basketball)
The center, colloquially known as the five or the post, is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well...

 positions for the NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

's Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in Oakland, California. They are part of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

. He was drafted by the Warriors with the 11th overall selection in the 2004 NBA Draft
2004 NBA Draft
The 2004 NBA Draft was held on June 24, 2004 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York and was broadcast live on ESPN at 7:00 pm . In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible...


FIBA career

Biedriņš's professional career started at the Latvian team BK Skonto in the 2002–03 season, when he joined at age 16. He soon established himself as an impact player, appearing in 41 LBL games, averaging 2.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.32 blocks, while shooting 59.8% from the field. For his feats, he was named Latvian League Newcomer of the Year. In eleven games for the FIBA
International Basketball Federation
The International Basketball Federation, more commonly known as FIBA , from its French name Fédération Internationale de Basketball, is an association of national organizations which governs international competition in basketball...

Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an league (2003–2004), he averaged 18.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.82 blocks. In his second year, Biedriņš appeared in 28 LBL games, averaging 18.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.86 blocks, while shooting 61.5% from the field. After that season, Biedriņš made himself eligible for the 2004 NBA Draft.

NBA career

Biedriņš was drafted at the 11th position by the Golden State Warriors. In his rookie
Rookie is a term for a person who is in his or her first year of play of their sport or has little or no professional experience. The term also has the more general meaning of anyone new to a profession, training or activity Rookie is a term for a person who is in his or her first year of play of...

 season (2004–05
2004-05 NBA season
The 2004–05 NBA season was the 59th season of the National Basketball Association . It began on November 2, 2004 and ended June 23, 2005. The season ended with the San Antonio Spurs defeating defending champion Detroit Pistons 4–3 in the NBA Finals....

), Biedriņš got little playing time, and often quickly got into foul trouble (3.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 2.9 fouls in 12.8 minutes, total 30 games). He also was the youngest player in the league during his rookie year as he was 18 years old at the time. In his second year, the 2005–06 season, Biedriņš played in 68 games, posting 3.8 points and 4.2 rebounds, with 14.1 minutes per game. However, he failed to improve much, and was ridiculed for his poor free throw percentage (.306) and his inability to stay out of foul trouble, committing 190 fouls in exactly 1,000 minutes of playing time. The Golden State fan base was not kind to the sophomore; he was called "The One Minute Man" by the Golden State Warriors blog for his alleged inability to play without a foul for longer than these 60 seconds. Biedriņš made some news when he was involved in a car accident on his way to a home game on the 880 freeway
Interstate 880
Interstate 880 is an Interstate Highway in the San Francisco Bay Area connecting San Jose and Oakland, running parallel to the southeastern shore of San Francisco Bay...

 in Oakland
Oakland, California
Oakland is a major West Coast port city on San Francisco Bay in the U.S. state of California. It is the eighth-largest city in the state with a 2010 population of 390,724...

. His Porsche
Porsche Automobil Holding SE, usually shortened to Porsche SE a Societas Europaea or European Public Company, is a German based holding company with investments in the automotive industry....

 Cayenne Turbo
Porsche Cayenne
The Porsche Cayenne is a five seat mid-size luxury crossover manufactured by the German manufacturer Porsche since 2002, with North American sales beginning in 2003. Its platform was developed by Porsche and is shared with the Volkswagen Touareg and the Audi Q7. It is the first V8-engined vehicle...

 was totalled in the accident, and he missed that night's game and the next game due to back spasms.


In his third year, Biedriņš got a lucky break when the Warriors decided to replace coach Mike Montgomery
Mike Montgomery
Mike Montgomery is an American college basketball coach and the current head coach of the California Golden Bears men's basketball team. He was also the men's basketball coach of at Stanford from 1986 to 2004 and at the University of Montana for eight seasons prior to coaching at Stanford...

 with ex-Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks are a professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. They are members of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association , and the reigning NBA champions, having defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals.According to a 2011...

 coach Don Nelson
Don Nelson
Donald Arvid "Don" Nelson is a former NBA player and head coach. He coached the Milwaukee Bucks, the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Golden State Warriors....

, elected one of the NBA's "Greatest Coaches of All Time." Nelson needed just five games to bench the consistently underperforming Warriors' center Adonal Foyle
Adonal Foyle
Adonal David Foyle is a retired Vincentian-American former professional basketball center. He was selected by the Golden State Warriors with the eighth overall selection of the 1997 NBA Draft. He played ten seasons with the team until the team bought out his contract on August 13, 2007. At the...

 and give Biedriņš the starting spot at center, calling him "the best big man I've got." Biedriņš thrived in his new role, posting impressive averages of 10.3 points on an incredible .621 field goal percentage (1st in the NBA), 9.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game and earning himself 28.9 minutes of playing time. His breakthrough game came in November 2006, when the Warriors beat the title favorites San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

 119–111. In this game, Biedriņš asserted himself against Spurs superstar Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan
Timothy Theodore "Tim" Duncan is an American professional basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association . The 6-foot 11-inch , 255-pound power forward/center is a four-time NBA champion, two-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP, and NBA Rookie of the Year...

, only being narrowly outscored 18–22 and outrebounded 15–16, but did block six shots, including three straight shot attempts by Duncan in the third quarter. During this season he set career highs in points (31 vs Denver 24 November 2006), rebounds (18 vs Charlotte 2 March 2007), blocks (7 vs Denver 22 November 2006), assists (5 vs Washington 23 March 2007) and steals (5 vs Lakers 22 January 2007). He also finished fifth in Most Improved Player
NBA Most Improved Player Award
The National Basketball Association's Most Improved Player Award is an annual National Basketball Association award given since the 1985–86 NBA season, to the most improved player of the regular season. The winner is selected by a panel of sportswriters throughout the United States and Canada,...

 voting, losing to teammate Monta Ellis
Monta Ellis
Monta Ellis is an American professional basketball player who plays the shooting guard and point guard positions for the Golden State Warriors of the NBA. Ellis entered the 2005 NBA Draft after graduating from Lanier High School in Jackson, Mississippi, and the Warriors drafted him in the second...



In July, Biedrins agreed to a new six-year contract for $54 million ($62 million including incentives) with the Golden State Warriors. The final year is a player option, which if exercised will keep him a Warrior through 2014. Biedrins was named co-captain alongside Stephen Jackson. On January 27, Biedrins pulled down a career high 26 rebounds against New York
New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, prominently known as the Knicks, are a professional basketball team based in New York City. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

. He had set a career high in assists on December 19 against Atlanta
Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are part of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association .-The first years:...

 with six.

For the 2008–2009 season, Biedrins set career highs in points (11.9), rebounds (11.2), assists (two) and blocked shots (1.6) per game, starting in 58 of the 62 games in which he appeared. However, he missed 20 games overall, including 17 due to injuries, perhaps an ominous sign of what would happen in 2009–2010.


The 2009–2010 season was basically a total loss for Biedriņš. He appeared in only 33 games, starting 29, and was limited to 23.1 minutes per game, his lowest since his second season in the league (2005–2006). Injuries played a big role, as he was derailed with back and groin ailments that made him miss weeks at a time before he finally had groin surgery on March 10, ending his season. Biedriņš' free-throw percentage had dropped from 62% in 2007–2008 to 55.1% in 2008–2009; in 2009–2010, he shot an appalling four-for-25 (16%). His other numbers dropped precipitously as well – five points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game after career-highs in all these stats in 2008–2009. Additionally, Warriors' coach Don Nelson repeatedly criticized Biedriņš for his lack of intensity and aggressiveness in his time on the floor. Biedriņš capped of the off season by criticizing the team during an interview in his native Latvia.


The 2010–2011 season may have begun with some renewed hope for a resurgence of Biedriņš, as 2009–2010 coach Don Nelson was fired and the potential existed for new head coach Keith Smart
Keith Smart
Jonathan Keith Smart is a retired American basketball player and current assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings of the NBA. He is best remembered for hitting the game-winning shot in the 1987 NCAA championship game. The shot gave the Indiana Hoosiers a 74–73 victory over the Syracuse Orangemen...

 to unleash and reinvigorate the center's fragile confidence. Early returns were promising, as Biedriņš had several games in the early season with rebounding numbers at or around double-digits while averaging around thirty minutes per game, including 20 rebounds in a November 5 victory over the Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz is a professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are currently a part of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

, 28 points and 20 rebounds in a November 26 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are a professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The team is part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . Along with the Toronto Raptors, the Grizzlies were established in 1995 as part of the NBA's...

, and 18 rebounds in a November 30 loss to the San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

. However, the injury bug bit again, derailing Biedriņš from mid-December 2010 to early January 2011, and once again he found it difficult to regain his previous form. Biedriņš' slumping play and persistent foul issues convinced Smart to bench him in favor of rookie Ekpe Udoh
Ekpe Udoh
Ekpedeme Friday Udoh, commonly known as Ekpe Udoh is an American basketball forward and center with Bnei HaSharon in Israel. He is also under contract with the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association, but is not playing with that team because of the 2011 NBA lockout...

 for four games in March, until Udoh's rawness and inconsistency forced Smart to reinsert Biedriņš into the starting lineup, where he remained for five games (including an appalling start March 16 against the Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California, United States. They are currently members of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association...

 where he failed to tally a single point or rebound but did get two steals and four fouls in 15 minutes of action) until spraining his ankle on March 16, resulting in his being sidelined for the remainder of the season. Biedriņš' averages for the 2010–2011 season amounted to five points, 7.2 rebounds and 0.9 blocks (both a drop from 2009–2010) on 53.4% field goal shooting and a modestly improved 32.3% free throw percentage.

International career

Biedriņš has been active for his native Latvia
Latvia national basketball team
The Latvian national basketball team is the basketball side that represents Latvia in international competitions.-EuroBasket 1935:The Latvians won the first European basketball championship, the EuroBasket 1935 held by the International Basketball Federation's FIBA Europe continental federation...

 since his teenage years. In 2001, the 15-year-old Biedriņš was a member of the Latvian national team at the Euro Cadet Championship, where he finished 4th in scoring (16.3 ppg) and 3rd in rebounding (8.5 rpg). In 2002, Biedriņš participated in the Euro Junior Championship, where he averaged 6.6 points and 7.3 rebounds. He then competed in the 2004 Under-18 European Championship, averaging 21.8 points, 14.4 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 3.8 steals. In a match against France, he played against fellow future NBA player Johan Petro
Johan Petro
Johan Petro is a French professional basketball player of Guadeloupean descent who is playing for the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association. A 7'0", 247 lbs. center, Petro was selected by the Sonics in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft...

, and Biedriņš scored 21 points and 16 rebounds. Other notable games were against Georgia (28 points, 11 rebounds) and Italy (26p, 20r).

Personal life

Biedriņš is well known for his involvement in several charities. He was active in Warriors community programs during his rookie season, participated in the team's Thanksgiving Food Serving at Patrick David's Cafe in Danville
Danville, California
The Town of Danville is located in the San Ramon Valley in Contra Costa County, California. It is one of the incorporated municipalities in California that uses "town" in its name instead of "city". The population was 42,039 in 2010. Danville is one of the wealthiest suburbs of Oakland and San...

, hosted a halftime Holiday Party for underprivileged children at the Warriors game vs. Memphis on 12/22, attended the Warriors Kids Day celebration, as well as the Run With TMC Fantasy Camp reception, and also visited injured American troops just back from Iraq at the National Naval Medical Center
National Naval Medical Center
The National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, USA — commonly known as the Bethesda Naval Hospital — was for decades the flagship of the United States Navy's system of medical centers. A federal institution, it conducted medical and dental research as well as providing health care for...

 outside of Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, when the team was in the area in early March. His English language skills were poor when he came to the U.S.; he taught himself to speak English in six months while training in Los Angeles prior to the 2004 NBA Draft.

Regular season

| style="text-align:left;"| 2004–05
| style="text-align:left;"| Golden State
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in Oakland, California. They are part of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

| 30 || 1 || 12.8 || .577 || .000 || .475 || 3.9 || .4 || .4 || .8 || 3.6
| style="text-align:left;"| 2005–06
| style="text-align:left;"| Golden State
| 68 || 2 || 14.7 || .638 || .000 || .306 || 4.2 || .4 || .3 || .7 || 3.8
| style="text-align:left;"| 2006–07
| style="text-align:left;"| Golden State
| 82 || 63 || 29.0 || .599 || .000 || .521 || 9.3 || 1.1 || .8 || 1.7 || 9.5
| style="text-align:left;"| 2007–08
| style="text-align:left;"| Golden State
| 76 || 59 || 27.3 || .626 || .000 || .620 || 9.8 || 1.0 || .7 || 1.2 || 10.5
| style="text-align:left;"| 2008–09
2008–09 NBA season
The 2008–09 NBA season was the 63rd season of the National Basketball Association . The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 28, 2008, and ended on Wednesday, April 15, 2009...

| style="text-align:left;"| Golden State
| 62 || 58 || 30.0 || .578 || .000 || .551 || 11.2 || 2.0 || 1.0 || 1.5 || 11.9
| style="text-align:left;"| 2009–10
2009–10 NBA season
The 2009–10 NBA season was the 64th season of the National Basketball Association . The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, and ended on Wednesday, April 14, 2010....

| style="text-align:left;"| Golden State
| 33 || 29 || 23.1 || .591 || .000 || .160 || 7.8 || 1.7 || .6 || 1.3 || 5.0
| style="text-align:left;"| 2010–11
2010–11 NBA season
The 2010–11 NBA season was the 65th season of the National Basketball Association . The 2011 NBA All-Star Game was played on February 20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in six games, 4 games to 2, to win their first NBA title, and...

| style="text-align:left;"| Golden State
| 59 || 55 || 23.7 || .534 || .000 || .323 || 7.2 || 1.0 || .9 || .9 || 5.0
| style="text-align:left;"| Career
| style="text-align:left;"|
| 410 || 267 || 24.1 || .595 || .000 || .511 || 8.0 || 1.1 || .7 || 1.2 || 7.7


| style="text-align:left;"| 2006–07
2007 NBA Playoffs
The 2007 NBA Playoffs was the postseason to the National Basketball Association's 2006–2007 season.There were four rounds of postseason action, all of them in a best-of-seven format, with teams seeded on a bracket. The team with the better record wasn't necessarily the basis of seeding teams in...

| style="text-align:left;"| Golden State
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in Oakland, California. They are part of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

| 11 || 8 || 24.3 || .730 || .000 || .533 || 6.3 || .5 || .7 || 1.5 || 6.4
| style="text-align:left;"| Career
| style="text-align:left;"|
| 11 || 8 || 24.3 || .730 || .000 || .533 || 6.3 || .5 || .7 || 1.5 || 6.4

See also

External links

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