The rumor started when he was selected at No. 22 on Draft Night. Jarrett Allen had been as high as No. 8 in Draft Express mock draft back in April. On the afternoon of the Draft, he was still at No. 16. So why had the 6’11” Texas freshman fallen so far?
Jay Bilas told the audience for ESPN’s draft coverage, “One of the questions some people have had about Jarrett Allen ... Does he love to play?” Bilas was countered by another of ESPN’s analysts, Tom Crean, who as Indiana University’s coach had tried to recruit Allen.
"This was a guy (Allen) that was getting up at six in the morning to go to gyms and work out about thirty minutes from his house in the summertime and the school year" and added that "he plays like a guy that’s really developed some hunger".
So is he, as his father says, “a quiet assassin?” Brian Lewis asked Allen at Friday’s rookie photo shoot. He was quick to answer.
“Yes, [I love the game]. I do think a lot of people have that mindset that basketball players are 100 percent — it’s not the right way to say it — all locked in to basketball and don’t have any other interests,” Allen told Lewis. “But me, I have a lot of other interests outside of basketball, so that gets conflicted with how much I [am] perceived to love basketball.”
Other interests indeed. He makes his own computers, had a 3.89 GPA in his fall semester at Texas, plays “Legend of Zelda,” binge watches “The Twilight Zone.” He admits the comments have affected him.
“It was motivation,” Allen said at the rookie photo shoot. “But they don’t really know a lot about me, so I can’t really go against what they say.”
None of this bothered the Nets. He may have fallen on the DX mock draft, but on the Nets internal mock, he was seen as a lottery pick.
Back in June, Allen’s father, Leonard, said he had raised his son to be well-rounded.
“My thing was be a kid first — play Nintendo, go out, skate,” Leonard Allen said. “Going to that next level, it’s not guaranteed, so I didn’t want him to just be like his only focus was basketball. There are other things in life out there besides basketball. There’s life that’s fun to do. You don’t have to consume yourself 24 hours a day. There’s down times away from the job.”
Jarrett Allen also told Lewis he agrees with Jeremy Lin that the Nets can make the post-season,
“We have all the pieces that we need to,” Jarrett Allen said. “We can always get more, but it’s going to be a good season. Yeah, we can do it. The East is [weakened]. We’re contenders in the East.”
Kind of a bold statement by a rookie.
- Nets rookie doesn’t care what you think about his hobbies - Brian Lewis - New York Post