Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Nets big man Jarrett Allen was a few blocks from the Barclays Center on Tuesday, giving haircuts to local kids through his foundation. He took a few minutes to talk about the upcoming season, USA Basketball and a few other topics during the event. Here are a few highlights from his chat with reporters.
On the new season: "We have a lot of new players, a lot of players that are ready to buy in, so we'll be good. It's going well. We had had some workouts up in LA, you know, just to bring the team together in a nice place and nice area. And we all meshed together well." The Nets, of course, added Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the offseason. But they also added five other players that could compete for spots in the rotation, and Allen noted that it will take some time to adjust to the new players.
On DeAndre Jordan: The Nets signed DeAndre Jordan to a four-year, $40 million deal and the veteran could compete with Allen for the starting center spot. Allen said Tuesday that he's open to anything the organization decides, but acknowledged that he'd prefer to start. "I mean, we're all basketball players. At the end of the day, we all want to be first out on the court, but at the end of the day, whatever I can do to help the team win, that's what I'm going to do," he said. Allen added that Jordan gave him some tips during the team's informal workouts in Los Angeles. "He was giving me little tips just to like help with my defense. Help me be more of a presence out on the court. So I think it's going to be good with him…. I'm ready to learn from whatever he can give me," Allen said. The third-year center was asked if he thought he could share the floor with Jordan this season. "I don't know what it's going to come down to with coach (Kenny Atkinson's) system. So for me, I'm preparing to be able to play the 4 or the 5. It's interchangeable for us. But I'm ready to play whatever he can throw at me."
Allen's play on both ends of the floor was a key factor in Brooklyn's success last season. So how his role changes this year will be something that bears watching as the Nets make adjustments to incorporate Irving, Jordan and their other new faces.
On USA Basketball: Allen participated on the Team USA Select team in Las Vegas, scrimmaging against the senior national team. "It was an amazing experience, you know, one of a kind of experience being under coach (Gregg Popovich, under (Jeff) Van Gundy. Just learning from all the guys, even being able to scrimmage against the older guys. Just a great experience overall."
On his playoff experience last season: "Before the playoffs, I didn't get why people say, 'Oh the playoffs are addicting.' But you know, I went through it, I played and it's like, 'Okay, this is kind of nice.' But now that the summer is here, it's like, man, I wanted to be back. I finally get what the itch that people are talking about is."
On Caris LeVert's extension: "Oh I'm excited for Caris. Hopefully it doesn't go to his head and (he starts) buying all the chains and everything (laughs). It's going to motivate him a lot more. He's already motivated because of his injuries, his past. So it's just gonna motivate him even more now."
On his event: Allen provided haircuts at Levels Barbershop to around 50 kids from the Children of Promise organization, a group for kids with an incarcerated parent or parents. Allen talked with the kids during the afternoon and handed out backpacks with gifts for each child. "It's important to me because I have a lot in my possession," Allen said. "I'm an NBA player, I have the dream that a lot of people want to have. So just to give back, show that NBA players care about people outside of basketball is important to me."
On the process for selecting an NBA agent and what the agent/client relationship should look like: "I think obviously it should be business. That's why you really hire an agent - for business. But obviously it should be some level of friendship. They have to know on a personal level. They have to know what you want and know how to sell you. But at the end of the day, you're going to become friends whether you like it or not because you're working closely with them.
On his relationship with his agent, Derrick Powell: "It's a great relationship. I feel like he cares more about me than just as a basketball player. He understands that I have other interests outside of basketball. Obviously, he knows basketball is basically my life, that's what I care about. So he definitely tries to do it on both ends (catering to on and off-court interests)." Powell adds that, "I think I have a healthy client player-relationship with Jarrett. I think some of the agents come in to the business trying to control players rather than steer the client in the right direction. With Jarrett, I know you can't force him to do anything he doesn't want to do. My job is to educate and inform him and it's more of a partnership than anything else. I try to inform all my clients It's not about the money. If you're doing what you're supposed to do for the right reasons, the money will follow you."
On the process of selecting an agent while in college: "In the beginning of the process you have all of these different agencies coming after you and then you have to narrow it down," Allen said. "You might narrow it down by how the agent contacted you or stuff you see on the outside - what you read online and what you see about them. And then you have them cut in to meet you. And then you start talking to them - you get a feel for what you like and what you don't like. And then you make a decision from there."
On how things have gone with the agency and Powell: "I think it's going great. Everything (Powell) talked about from the beginning, he lived up to that standard. He respects me as a person and he's not just trying to make his own money. He wants to see me grow. As a 19-year-old going into the NBA, you hear horror stories about people steering someone in the wrong direction and I haven't felt that."