All it took was one phone call.
One phone call and suddenly Caris LeVert and Sean Kilpatrick were headed out to California to train with Kevin Durant and Steve Nash. Nets Director of Player Development and KD’s former shooting coach, Adam Harrington, helped set it up.
LeVert was ecstatic about the 7-day trip and told NetsDaily that the experience was “great.”
“I learned a lot out there. Kevin [Durant] is obviously a great competitor, great player and you kind of see why he is the way he is, and I was only with him for a week,” LeVert said. “You can see just how hard he works and how diligent he is with his work. He’s a true professional and I was really thankful and blessed to go out there and work with him.”
Did Durant have any words of wisdom to help him move on ... despite the Nets poor season?
“‘Just be ready. Be ready for that moment.’ We don’t get a lot of TV games or anything like that, but he just said, when we do, ‘make sure you’re ready for it; make sure you’re ready to play your best when the spotlight is on you.’”
The two have a history that goes way beyond this quick trip. After Caris LeVert fractured his foot during his days at Michigan, Kevin Durant was there to offer more words of encouragement.
"He just said 'Once Doc finishes with you, you'll be like brand new,'" LeVert said at the 2016 NBA draft combine. "He told me just to stay with the course, it's a long process, but just stay with it, don't get anxious."
Durant suffered a Jones fracture in 2014, the same injury as LeVert. Both were wound up on the (very busy) operating table of the Nets’ foot and ankle specialist Dr. Martin O'Malley.
For whatever it’s worth, LeVert’s nickname in college was “Baby Durant.” LeVert is ready to take the next step as a player coming out of an impressive rookie campaign. Before the Draft, the Nets were fielding many calls and the first person rival GM’s asked about was LeVert. Sorry was the Nets reponse.
“I feel like I’m a guy that always had a chip on my shoulder ever since I started playing basketball. It’s nothing really new for me.”