clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Atkinson on LeVert: “Maturity beyond his years”

Brooklyn Nets Media Day Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Let’s talk about the guy who wasn’t there Tuesday night at the Garden. Kenny Atkinson did before the Knicks game ... but in a way you might not expect.

Any talk about leadership in the Nets’ locker room has been centered around DeMarre Carroll and Jeremy Lin. After all, Kenny Atkinson did refer to them as the “leaders of the team.”

We caught up with Atkinson briefly pre-game and asked which of the young group of guys has taken on a leadership role.

He answered with zero hesitation: “Caris.”

“You know, Caris is like the A-student in class. He’s just got a maturity that’s beyond his years. He’s well-spoken, he does it with his action, does it with his work.

“He’s really a guy that led our offseason. Guy was 100 percent participation. I don’t know, he’s just always around (laughs). You try to get him to go see John Beilein, (his coach) at Michigan, but he wants it and I’m excited for the year he’s going to have.”

LeVert has impressed ownership, management, and the guys in the locker room. His hard work has been appreciated since he arrived last summer still unable to run after his surgery. Sean Marks has said LeVert is what team culture is all about and the direction the Nets are headed in.

DeMarre Carroll elaborated a bit on LeVert on Media Day.

“There’s a lot of guys [that stand out]. Just playing them twice a year, it’s hard to see. But Caris, I feel like he’s got a really bright future. He works really, really hard.”

That says a lot coming from both the head coach and Carroll, who some would call a “player-coach” on this young team. LeVert is undergoing his first year with a full Summer League, training camp, and (hopefully) preseason under his belt.

Despite a minor setback to his ankle, the Nets are expecting him to be the anchor for the future, starting with Thursday vs. the Heat at Barclays Center.