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Jarrett Allen: “I don’t even know how good I can be” ... ‘I want to be the best’

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Los Angeles Clippers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

As a sign of his rising star, Jarrett Allen gets the Steve Serby treatment in Sunday’s Post. The long-time Post columnist does extended interviews with sports figures on everything from their play to favorite restaurant.

So what’s the take from interview? He likes where he is and where he and the team are headed. Allen won’t talk about how good he can be, but like his teammates, he believes the sky is the limit.

Here’s one exchange with Serby...

Q: How good do you think you can be?

A: I don’t even know how good I can be. A lot of people say I have a lot of potential. I don’t really know what that means. I’m just trying to work my hardest just to see what eventually that potential can become.

Q: How good do you want to be?

A: The best (laugh). That’s a tough thing to achieve, but there’s no reason to train the way I’m training if I don’t want to be the best.

Not surprisingly, a lot of Allen’s answers were short but to the point. Here’s “scouting report” on himself.

He likes to do a lot of pick-and-rolls. … He’s good at setting screens. … He’s pretty quick running the floor. He’s athletic, a lob threat … and he’s working on his corner 3.

In a little bit of news, he says he’s working on a sky hook, noting “ it’s really hard to get the shot once you perfect it, to block the shot.”

He spoke to differences between his on- and off- personalities:

Q: Your mentality on the court … do you turn into a different person?

A: Not really, I’m still me. I don’t like using that I turn into like a monster on the court or anything, that’s not my thing to say. I become more focused.

Q: Why is that not your thing to say?

A: I am who I am, I’m still gonna go play my game, play my hardest, but I just don’t like using those adjectives, those words to describe me (laugh).

And his need to get stronger:

Q: How much stronger do you need to get?

A: A lot stronger. Playing guys like Steven Adams, Dwight Howard, Joel Embiid, you just gotta be stronger to get ready for ’em.

Q: How will you do that?

A: I’m 20, so I definitely have time for my body to catch up to what I’m doing in the weight room.

Q: But in the meantime, it can’t be fun a lot of time getting bullied.

A: No, it’s definitely not, but talking with Coach [Kenny Atkinson], like finding ways to use my quickness, my advantages against them. I know I’m faster than a lot of ’em, so I just have to use my footwork to be better in that situation.

And of course, his computer skills that some NBA scouts believed a belied a lack of interest in the game.

Q: Did it bother you when people questioned whether you loved the game enough?

A: It didn’t bother me ’cause I knew it wasn’t true. I heard that all throughout my getting ready for the NBA. In college, they’ll label you as something and it’s hard to get rid of a label, so I knew it was gonna be like that going in, so I just couldn’t really do that much about it.

And in a another news tidbit, Allen said he just built a new computer from parts he bought online last week. How long did it take him? About two, two and a half hours.

As for the future, Allen spoke as well of what most motivates him:

Q: What drives you?A: To win. It might not look like I’m competitive ’cause I’m mellow on the court, but I love to win, even pingpong, racing people to the door, I like doing that … just being better. Like people in my draft class, I also want to show that I’m better than them.

So he didn’t being drafted at No. 22.

There’s a lot more there.