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The NBA Summer League was supposed to be about one name- Zion.
Fans were flocking to the Thomas and Mack Arena in Las Vegas for a chance to see the Duke phenom play. But shortly into the team’s game against fellow Blue Devils alumni and Knicks rookie, R.J. Barrett, Zion tweaked his knee and the city was hit by an earthquake. After much confusion, the game was cancelled and Zion was shut down for the remainder of the summer.
After that, the Celtics’ 7’6 rookie, Tacko Fall, emerged as the fan favorite, lines forming around the arena for his autograph.
But while the games were going on and fans were getting glimpses of future stars, there was one question that was quietly being raised during the games.
Why was the Nets’ Jarrett Allen playing?
The Nets’ young center, who just turned 21 this past April, has averaged 9.6 ppg and 7 rpg in his two years with the team, and was a key component in Brooklyn’s run to make the playoffs. But again, with two years under his NBA belt already, why would he want to suit up this summer?
“I don’t expect everybody to know why I’m playing here,” said Allen. “Everybody has a different perspective. But I think inside the organization we know why.”
Allen is obviously demonstrating his commitment to the team and to improving, something he’ll continue to do once he steps on to the court with new teammates, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan. But he’s not waiting around to become better; he’s taking the steps now, and that includes summer ball, a place where he averaged 16.4 points, and 10.6 rebounds over five games and was named to the Vegas Summer League First-Team.
15 PTS (7/10 FG), 13 REB & 2 BLK for Jarrett Allen at the half for the @BrooklynNets! 2nd half begins on ESPN2. #NBASummer https://t.co/w9sPq2B8Nx
“I feel like I had a pretty good season last year,” said the Nets’ center. “I have a lot to show ’em. I have a lot of knowledge in my mind that I can share with them.”
Get ready Nets fans, it sounds like you’re about to have an even better team, and season, this year.