In an interview with Alex Squadron for SLAM, Caris LeVert is his typical, analytic self. Very much under control, looking at both sides, offering positives here and there. You know, the humble LeVert.
But as Squadron points out, there is another LeVert, one that came out when he spoke about not making the Rising Stars Challenge at the All-Star Game.
“Yeah, absolutely I feel like I was snubbed from that game,” he told SLAM. “Last year as well with the All-Rookie Teams, I felt like I should’ve been on that too. That’s really nothing new for me. I feel like I get snubbed from a lot of things, but that’s just motivation.”
That cocky side is one the Nets would like to see more... the aggressive LeVert. The versatile 6’7” swingman could use a little cocky in him.
“A lot of people who have never seen me play really don’t know that [side],” he added. Indeed.
“He’s the sweetest, most docile person,” Brooklyn’s head coach Kenny Atkinson described to the New York Post where Squadron used to work. “When you see his personality, it’s not a big bravado.”
That’s called damning by faint praise. So can LeVert break out this year? He showed real potential last season, particularly in December when playing point guard he looked terrific.
Caris averaged 14.3 points, 5.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game in the month of December, shooting 49 percent from the field and a wicked 45 percent from three. (LeVert also hit 37.3 percent of his long bombs after the All-Star Break.)
“That was good for me to be able to experience because I’ve played point guard sparingly, but probably never for that long of a span,” Caris says. “I was the second unit’s point guard for probably 25-30 games straight and I got into a rhythm and started to get very comfortable with that.
“I think going forward that’s definitely something that I proved I can do.”
So where will he play this season? Squadron asked.
“I’m just preparing myself mentally and physically obviously to play whatever position need be, to do whatever is needed on the court,” he explained. “Whether that’s the point guard, shooting guard, small forward, whatever it may be. I’m trying to prepare myself mentally for whatever is being thrown at me.”
Despite the off-season moves that dispatched Jeremy Lin to Atlanta, Isaiah Whitehead to Russia and even Milton Doyle to Spain, the Nets still have a bit of a logjam in the backcourt. That’s not a bad thing, Sean Marks has suggested remember the ghosts of Lin and Greivis Vasquez.
Still, it might be better if LeVert knew where he would be playing, even in a position-less system.
- On The Rise: Caris LeVert is Ready to Go Beast Mode - Alex Squadron - SLAM