The last time Caris LeVert penned an internet post, it was nearly a year ago. Just before the draft, he wrote a letter to NBA GM’s on Players Tribune. In it, he told them don’t think of me as the guy on crutches at the Combine, the guy with the foot injuries. Instead, think of him as someone who has overcome adversity and will again.
“What I can’t wait to show the world when I make my NBA debut is a player who can handle, shoot, go hard to the hoop, and defend. I can play as a one, a two, or even a three. My versatility is my greatest asset, and I bring a unique skill set to the court.”
That debut was still six months away. And because Sean Marks et al believed in him, it took place in Brooklyn. He hadn’t participated in summer league or training camp or any 5x5 practices until mid-November.
Now, LeVert has written another letter, this one to Nets fans. It was posted on the Nets website Thursday and it sounds that same faith and self-confidence that we saw last June. There is also a promise.
“Last summer I missed my first real chance to work full-time with NBA coaches and practice with NBA players. They build you up physically and get you ready for your rookie season, you play in summer league, you learn new systems and your team’s philosophy; it’s a big offseason for a young player’s development...
“This summer is completely different. It’s a true offseason – a big opportunity. I have no restrictions in the weight room or on the court, which means I can do everything in my power to become a better overall player.
“The bottom line is that I can use every day to get better – and I will.”
A Brooklyn resident now, LeVert talks about how he has no qualms about missing the beach or air-conditioning. He loves that opportunity training every day at HSS provides. And he not alone.
“You may not be in the gym with us, but if you drive by HSS Training Center, the lights are on and I can guarantee someone is in there putting in work.
“You probably expect to see a Brooklyn guy – and new dad – like Isaiah – congrats, Brother – in the gym, or a Yonkers guy like Sean Kilpatrick, but everyone is dropping in. Name any player on the roster and I’ve seen him in the gym. No one is slacking off, guys are here pushing each other like it’s the middle of the season, building that rhythm on the floor, making sure we’re all playing Brooklyn Nets basketball and growing together.”
It’s a long road between now and October, with the draft, free agency and the possibility of trades altering the Nets landscape, but
“We’ve got five months of this, plus summer league. When it’s all said and done and we’re back at Barclays Center next season, I want to look in the mirror and see a faster, stronger Caris LeVert.
“So bring on the long, hot days in the gym; the drills, sprints, lifts and shots. Give me basketballs, icebags, repetition and time with my brothers. To the guys that don’t like training, enjoy the beach; you know where I’ll be.”
Indeed, we do.