If you watched Friday night’s game and thought Jarrett Allen and Rodions Kurucs looked bigger, neither your eyes nor NBA TV was deceiving you. Both said they had put on 10 pounds or so.
“You’ve obviously got to get stronger, you’ve got to get bigger,” Allen said, revealing that he now weighs 246 pounds, nearly 15 pounds more than he did last summer. “And I’ve been saying this since I got in the league: It’s going to come with time. I still just turned 21 a couple months ago.”
“Yeah, a little bigger,” said Kurucs of his own weight gain. “[I weighed] 210. Now I’m 220-something,” He added he feels “a lot stronger.”
The two 21-year-olds, of course, started for the Nets last season at the “big” positions, center and power forward. They will need to bulk up to compete, particularly Allen who will face off in practice vs. DeAndre Jordan. The ex-Knick outweighs him by 20 pounds. Until Kevin Durant (6’11” and 240 pounds) returns, Kurucs is likely to face competition from newly acquired Taurean Prince, who’s listed at 6’8” and 220 pounds.
In the meantime, Allen has been working out against the Nets big man coach, Travon Bryant, who’s 6’9” and 245.
“[He’s] one of the bigger coaches, just working on physicality,” Allen said. “Obviously everybody knows I’m in the weight room. I have to get bigger, having to eat like seven meals a day or something crazy like that. So I’m doing everything I can to get ready for next season.”
Allen got crushed last season by bigs like Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond, athletic and strong. The disparity was particularly evident in the playoffs when Embiid seemingly intimidated Allen. Nets summer league coach—and director of development— Adam Harrington thinks the playoffs can be a big motivator for the two.
“Now we know from the regular season to the playoffs is a massive jump,” Adam Harrington said. “Anytime you’re able to learn by experience, everybody in the organization can walk away from that series and learn something. The physicality was something that not only the players got to see firsthand, but the coaching staff, which was awesome. The proof is in the pudding, in the video and actually feeling it.”
Next up on the weight training regimen, no doubt, is Nic Claxton, who like Allen, Durant and Jordan is 6’11”, but he only weights 215. At the rookie press conference after the Draft, the 20-year-old said he enjoys weight training. He’ll have to.
- Nets’ Jarrett Allen and Rodions Kurucs looking at summer league as time to grow - Brian Lewis - New York Post