He’s a late second round pick, officially acquired in a three-team trade where six NBA players changed teams, but it looks like Reggie Perry is making as good as impression he can in Nets training camp.
After Jeff Green praised the 20-year-old on Wednesday, calling him “very talented” and “able to play multiple positions,” the Nets put him out front in the team’s daily Zoom call with reporters.
For his part, Perry said his time with the Nets organization so far has been everything he expected.
“It has been a great experience,” Perry said. “This experience is what I’ve looked for coming into the NBA. One of my wishes was to be around great players, like Hall of Famers, and great teammates and stuff like that. It’s been great.”
When asked about his rookie experience, Perry thinks he played well in Thursday’s scrimmage but is excited to continue to learn and grow.
“I feel like it’s gone pretty good,” Perry said about his rookie experience. “The scrimmage went very well today. I felt like I did pretty good today but there is always room for growth. Not just stuff in the past but I’m ready to continue to get better and learn but it’s been good.”
With only three days till the Nets’ first scrimmage, he has already received high praise from two veterans, both bigs, and his head coach.
“I love Reggie, the draft pick,” Green said Wednesday. “He is a young kid that works very very hard but knows the game of basketball. Honestly, well, it’s hard with the rotations we have here but down the line in his career, I think he will be able to play multiple positions as well. He is very talented.
DeAndre Jordan, who calls Perry “Rook,” loves the Mississippi State product. Jordan noted his work ethic and his desire to learn during training camp.
“Man, I love ‘Rook,’” Jordan said of the 6’10”, 250-pound Perry. “I love what he is doing. He is a tough player, no fear out there, a very strong guy, and a skilled player who can shoot the basketball. Like I said, rook has done a great job. Just to be able to have someone around who is a young player, wants to soak up all that knowledge, and work as hard as he can. It’s great to have someone like that on our team.”
Jordan also referenced the battles with the other Nets big men. He calls those battles “heated” but a healthy balance of competition.
“Just to be able to battle against him, JA, and Nic when he is on the floor healthy,” DJ said of him, Jarrett Allen and the injured Nicolas Claxton, “It gets all of us better. We definitely had some heated battles between all of us but it’s not anything that is negative or detrimental towards the practice. It’s all about us getting better and we challenge each other every single day so that’s great.”
Like any rookie in the NBA, Perry said he values having guys around him with a lot of experience. He credited his older teammates for helping him learn and adjust.
“It’s been great,” Perry said. “Just to have guys like that, who have a lot of experience. Not only them having a lot of experience but their willingness to be able to teach young guys and help young guys with what they have been through. It’s been great and I’m glad to have them.”
The Thomasville, Georgia native believes he brings a different type of game compared to the other Nets big men but he wants to find a balance to the position. The 20-year-old is coming off shooting 32 percent from behind the arc on 2.3 attempts per game for the Bulldogs.
“Just a different type of game,” said Perry when asked what he brings. “Being able to stretch the floor a little bit. Being able to learn from those guys and what they do on how they play their game. Just find a balance on how to play that position.”
To Nash, Perry is a “developmental player” but with potential. He likes how his rookie big man can stretch the floor with a 3-ball but can also make plays for his teammates.
“Reggie is a modern 5,” Nash said about the Nets rookie. “Fortunately for Reggie’s development, as a developmental player, he can stretch the floor with a three and he can also make plays for this teammates. He’s got a lot of skills and attributes that allow him that versatility to be a small ball 5 in the modern game.”
Perry can handle the ball a bit too. The Nets tweeted out video of a Caris LeVert dunk that began with a nice pass from Perry...
@CarisLeVert ▪️ #BKNTrainingCamp ▪️ @SunChlorellaUSA pic.twitter.com/7NgF6EIBst— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) December 10, 2020
Perry acknowledged he will likely not see a lot of minutes, especially with the Nets’ frontcourt depth. He will probably see time in the G League ... if and when the development league opens for business. That is not a concern for Perry as he is just looking to be a good teammate and stay ready for his opportunity.
“Just staying ready,” Perry said about the opportunity. “Staying in the gym. Staying locked in. I’m watching film and learning from what they are doing on the court. So really just staying locked in and just staying ready for my name to be called and at the same time, being a good teammate.”
The Nets rookie also has quite the former player to learn under in Amar’e Stoudemire. Perry said the former six-time NBA all-star has done a tremendous job so far.
“With Amar’e Stoudemire, him being here, he has done a tremendous job. Just by giving me little tips, little moves, and stuff to work on,” Perry said of the six-time All-Star.
Like any rookie joining the NBA, there can be an initial moment when you’re simply starstruck ... specially if you join a team with a Hall of Fame head coach and future Hall of Fame players. Perry had those thoughts coming into the HSS Training Facility, he admitted, but said he remained cool and once everyone stepped on the hardwood, it was back to normal for the rookie.
“I definitely said that to myself in my head but I definitely try to keep my cool,” Perry said about playing with superstars. “The first day I got here, we played pickup so as soon as we got on the court, everything was regular. Just playing basketball.”
As for his biggest adjustment entering the NBA, aside from going from, Starkville, Mississippi, Perry said the pace of the game.
“Everybody really said on the court that the game is a lot faster and the pace is a lot faster,” Perry said about adjustments. “That has been the biggest adjustment. I feel like I’m handling that very well by just adjusting to the pace is the biggest thing.”
When reflecting on his draft night experience, Perry said he knew he was Brooklyn bound at the 55th pick. The Nets had that pick, but as part of the deal with the Pistons and Clippers, Brooklyn and L.A. swapped late picks and Perry went at 57. In fact, Mississippi State released a video with their NBA product talking with Sean Marks. Perry was happy he heard his name called and was able to join a great team.
“I knew right away and knew at the 55th pick I was going to Brooklyn,” Perry said reflecting on Draft Night. “They called me and told me everything. It was a great experience. I am just glad to have my name called. Not only have my name called but be able to come to a great team.”
- BROOKLYN NETS TRAINING CAMP: REGGIE PERRY MAKES RIGHT FIRST IMPRESSION - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Nets rookie Reggie Perry already leaving an impression - Brian Lewis - New York Post