BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Jarrett Allen smiled and said, “I like that. I like that a lot” when told he was Brookyn’s ‘mystery man’ heading into the season. A humble, yet articulate young man, Allen is confident that he is going to exceed expectations after being selected 22nd pick in the draft.
Speaking at a community event where he paid for childrens’ haircuts and distributed school supplies, Allen tried to dispel the notion that he’s some sort of puzzle, a figment of Sean Marks imagination. He’s quite real and quite excited about his and the team’s possibilities.
He’s particularly excited about playing alongside fellow newcomer D’Angelo Russell, praising his court vision among other things. He believes Russell will make him a better player.
“Nothing but good things with D’Angelo,” Allen told NetsDaily. “He’s great with the ball, makes good decisions and makes really good passes. He’s going to find me.”
He added that Russell will find him one way or another, running the floor, specifically in alley oops, whatever. (Remember: Nets are intrigued by Allen’s ‘lobs and blocks’ potential.)
“Being 6’10” and athletic I’ll be doing a lot of pick-and-rolls with D’Angelo [Russell] – set him good screens, roll to the basket or pop and let him do his work and lob it up to me eventually.”
We didn’t get to see Allen nor Russell in Summer League, so it’ll be interesting to see how the two will play together. However, if Allen is ready to run, then he and D’Angelo can be an intriguing duo in the open court. In the halfcourt offense it’ll be crucial that Allen sets good screens and executes his mid-range game, which is in its early stages.
Of course, Allen and Russell are two of Brooklyn’s newest featured players as well as part of the future along with Caris LeVert and Allen Crabbe. In order for them to be successful here under Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson’s vision, they must help set the culture. The word that’s used so often and for justified reasons.
“What culture means to me is that everybody is on the same page and everybody is fighting for the right thing,” Allen said. “From a business standpoint, if you don’t have the right culture then you can’t strive for what you want. People like Golden State, the Spurs, all great teams all have a culture and that’s what we’re trying to bring to Brooklyn.”
A major part that comes with the culture is the sports science that’s a big part of the Nets development scheme. Players are monitored on and off the court every single day – in several aspects – to enhance their level of play and limit injury. No exhaustion, good health. We asked Allen to walk us through it a bit.
“They honestly monitor everything. We put something on our backs and it measures how we’re doing, very in depth, with how we’re training and how we’re recovering.”
Not as descriptive as Joe Harris — "They even track the color of your piss” — but it gives you a picture of how the Nets performance team insinuates itself into every aspect of the players’ game.
Back in August, D’Angelo Russell told NetsDaily it’s something he’s never seen before. Other players say the same thing.
How is Allen adjusting to the bright lights, big city life?
Allen, California-born, Texas raised, is still only 19-years-old and is still adjusting to Brooklyn. While it all sounds great that he’s learning about the Nets organization and their culture, it’s also important to understand he’s straight out of college and it’s a huge adjustment going from Austin to Brooklyn.
And so, the Nets have veteran players, namely Jeremy Lin and Quincy Acy in his case. Allen mentioned the two, who live close to him in the borough, as players who have taken him under their wing. He says he’s still getting a feel for the team, the city, but those two have helped out by talking him through certain things.
Asked if the Nets have spoken to him about spending time with Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G-League affiliate, Allen replied, “No. Not yet.” After all, the Nets only have three players 6’10” or taller right now. Allen is one of them and he claims he’s growing. It looks like he will get time as the Nets continue to prioritize development.
So, the “mystery man” thinks he’s staying right here in Brooklyn where he’s ready to surprise folks despite his young age ... and late selection in the draft.
Most importantly, he’s ready to show teams that you don’t come into Brooklyn and get to take a night off.
“We’re gonna have more grit than you. It’s Brooklyn!”
- Nets rookie active in community while fighting for playing time - Brian Lewis - New York Post