Caris LeVert has garnered a massive amount of attention over the last few days, in large part due to his teammates ... and his coach.
“First two days of training camp, he’s been fantastic, quite honestly. I’m going to call it like it is,” coach Kenny Atkinson said of LeVert.
LeVert himself has said he’s put in an exceptional amount of work in the off-season, both inside and outside the gym.
This includes meditation, which LeVert had done while at the University at Michigan. He told reporters on Wednesday he reverted back to the method this past summer.
“Just kind of focusing more on the mental aspects of the game. Focusing more on meditation and visualization and things like that,” he said, providing reason in his typical matter-of-fact style.
“I think just focusing this off-season and trying to think outside the box, train a little different than I have in the past. With the injuries, I haven’t been able to do everything I wanted to do with lower body strength, but I was able to do that this summer and it’s paying off.”
He said he’d even do it a couple times a day, making for a more consistent, relaxing experience. He that the game has begun to slow down for him, at least in practice, as a result.
“I think experience and then my balance has gotten a lot better. Last year, I fell down a lot,” he said with a smile. “I would see the play, it was there, but I couldn’t really execute it sometimes. I feel like this year I’m a lot more on balance and just stronger lower body-wise.”
As for his apparent improvement, he deflected and chose to highlight his team instead.
“As a team, we’ve all been playing really well,” he said. “I’m just trying to do my part. I feel like we’ve all had a great summer. It’s reflecting right now in camp. Hopefully, it translates into the game.”
He later added that assistant coach Jacque Vaughn worked with him, ‘Pretty much everyday.’
“The main thing we focused on was probably balance for my shooting and just confidence in shooting the shots I practice every single day. I think that’s really helped me a lot this summer. Hopefully, it translates into the game,” he said.
“As a player, you want somebody who is very knowledgeable of the game to be helping you out. I think he’s somebody everybody respects. We obviously grew up watching him play, so it’s cool to have him in my corner, as well as the other coaches, but him working with me every day.”
And speaking of deflection, there was the inevitable reaction to the Jimmy Butler rumors, which of course, the Nets continue to downplay. Rightfully so.
“I don’t really get into that type of stuff too much, but obviously as a player, it’s good to feel wanted and it’s good for other people to acknowledge what you’ve been doing on the court,” he said. “But like I said, I don’t get into that too much. I love it here in Brooklyn, and I want to play here a long time.”
If the Nets have their way, he certainly will.