NBA veteran Lou Amundson sports new look but vows to bring same, old energy in TNT debut
NBA journeyman Lou Amundson arrives in Manila without his trademark 'man bun.' “It’s getting too popular, too many people doing the ponytail, so I changed it up," he says. Karlo Sacamos

IF you know him from his NBA days, you can hardly recognize Lou Amundson these days as he sports a new, cleaner look than the one he’s known for.

“I cut it off, man,” the NBA veteran began in a chat with after TNT KaTropa practice on Thursday. “It’s getting too popular, too many people doing the ponytail, so I changed it up. I don’t know if I started it; I’m not going to claim that, but I was one of the first to do it.”

“The term ‘man bun’ didn’t exist before I came through with it,” he added.

Sporting a new hairdo also comes at a perfect time – at the cusp of summer season in the Philippines.

“It’s very hot and humid here, so it’s been an adjustment trying to practice in this heat and just trying to get my legs back under me after the long flight and the time change,” Amundson said before leaving the Moro Lorenzo gym inside the Ateneo campus.

“Everybody’s really nice and it’s nice here, but there’s lots of traffic, though,” he added with a chuckle.

Apart from the horrible traffic, there’s plenty more Amundson is about to discover about this Southeast Asian country in his first professional stint overseas.

“I’ve always kind of had it at the back of my head, just wanted to experience playing in a different country, and just kind of the adventure of it,” the 10-year NBA veteran said.  

“And just to play a little bit more,” the 34-year-old cager added. “I love to travel in the offseason, so it was always something that I’ve been looking at. I’ve always had an opportunity in the NBA, so this is the first year where I thought it would be a good time to do it.”


But before he thinks about going on vacation, Amundson must buckle down to work, and bring his trademark energy and a lot more to the Texters in their Commissioner’s Cup campaign.

“For me, it’s just trying to get in game-shape again,” Amundson said, admitting he hasn’t played in four months. “So it’s just kind of getting acclimated again to playing, playing up and down, and playing at a high pace.

“That’s going to take a few days, but my teammates are awesome,” he added. “They’ve been really nice and welcoming, and helpful when it comes to learning the new offense and coach Nash (Racela) and the assistants have been great, trying to get me up to speed.”

And Amundson, who was officially measured at 6-8, is hoping to lead the team to a finals appearance after the Texters fell short in the Philippine Cup.

“I hope so,” the UNLV product said ahead of his debut on Friday night against Meralco. “That’s the goal and that’s what we’re here for.”

Racela can already attest to how quick Amundson can adapt to his system despite having only two practices with the team since arriving last Tuesday.

“He’s a very smart player,” Racela said. “Obviously, it’s because of his experience sa NBA, knowing a lot of schemes, and it’s good because of the time we have to prepare for the game.”

“We didn’t have to go through all the stuff,” he added. “Minsan, you just have to talk about it and he picks it up right away. That should be an advantage.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos