Second-year Nets big man Jarrett Allen takes a shot at some Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby.
Q: What is your favorite “Twilight Zone” episode?
A: That’s a lot to choose from. … I forgot the name of the episode, but the city got nuked and he was working as a bank teller and he survived the nuke in the vault, and then after he was walking around the deserted city, he found a library ’cause he loved books. Got his book, sat down, and then his glasses broke (chuckle) and he couldn’t put ’em together.
Q: Do you remember the one about the Martian that landed …
A: To serve man? It ended up being a cookbook.
Q: I was thinking about the one at the diner after a bus crash.
A: Seven people came off the bus, but there was eight in the diner (laugh).
Q: Fear the ’Fro.
A: I know I wear the Afro, but I’m not wearing it to be outlandish or anything, I’m just like wearing it ’cause it’s my hair, and the Brooklyn community has adopted it (smile), and that just became my staple.
Q: Do opponents make note of it?
A: No. It’s hard not to hear the [road] crowd. I’ve been called Bob Ross, Dr. J, anybody with an Afro, really.
Q: What did you think of Dr. J’s Afro?
A: Almost everybody had an Afro back then. He had a pretty good Afro (laugh).
Q: What is the key to blocking shots?
A: Timing. And knowing your personnel. You have to know when they’re gonna jump. There’s certain players, more Euro players that will go same foot, same hand, and that will throw you off, so you have to know that’s their thing.
Q: How good of a feeling is that to block a shot?
A: It’s good, ’cause it sparks the offense, and you’re most likely gonna get a bucket off the energy and the adrenaline.
Q: Can that be a form of intimidation?
A: Yeah. Someone had the quote, I think it was Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] or somebody about blocking shots: Even if you don’t block the shot, they’re still gonna think about going in there. So even if you don’t block it, but you’re really close to blocking it and they still miss, they’re gonna have second thoughts about going in there.
Q: But you’re like the least intimidating person I’ve ever met.
A: It’s not about intimidation, it’s about not being able to score the ball (chuckle). That’s how I picture it.
Q: Your mentality on the court … do you turn into a different person?
A: Not really, I’m still me. I don’t like using that I turn into like a monster on the court or anything, that’s not my thing to say. I become more focused.
Q: Why is that not your thing to say?
A: I am who I am, I’m still gonna go play my game, play my hardest, but I just don’t like using those adjectives, those words to describe me (laugh).
Q: What drives you?
A: To win. It might not look like I’m competitive ’cause I’m mellow on the court, but I love to win, even pingpong, racing people to the door, I like doing that … just being better. Like people in my draft class, I also want to show that I’m better than them.
Q: Did it bother you when people questioned whether you loved the game enough?
A: It didn’t bother me ’cause I knew it wasn’t true. I heard that all throughout my getting ready for the NBA. In college, they’ll label you as something and it’s hard to get rid of a label, so I knew it was gonna be like that going in, so I just couldn’t really do that much about it.
Q: Why can the sky hook be a weapon for you?
A: If you look at Kareem, literally his chest was above everybody so it’s really hard to get the shot once you perfect it, to block the shot.
Q: How much stronger do you need to get?
A: A lot stronger. Playing guys like Steven Adams, Dwight Howard, Joel Embiid, you just gotta be stronger to get ready for ’em.
Q: How will you do that?
A: I’m 20, so I definitely have time for my body to catch up to what I’m doing in the weight room.
Q: But in the meantime, it can’t be fun a lot of time getting bullied.
A: No, it’s definitely not, but talking with Coach [Kenny Atkinson], like finding ways to use my quickness, my advantages against them. I know I’m faster than a lot of ’em, so I just have to use my footwork to be better in that situation.
Q: Are you on a program to gain weight?
A: Not during the season, but during the offseason next season I think we’re gonna start doing stuff to get me on a program.
Q: What is it like playing against Enes Kanter?
A: That’s tough ’cause he’s smart with how he uses his strength, and he’s superstrong, so that’s tough in both aspects.
Q: What is the atmosphere in the Garden like when the Knicks are playing the Nets?
Q: You’ll see a mixture of both Knicks and Nets fans, and even the fans are competitive to win the game (chuckle), so it’s a good atmosphere.
Q: There’s a lot more Knicks fans than Nets fans.
A: Yeah, of course, but still you can see the Nets presence sometimes.
Q: Do you like playing at the Garden in that kind of atmosphere?
A: I do. It’s almost like a college game, ’cause we’re really, five miles away from each other (chuckle), so it’s definitely like a rivalry going on.
Q: Both teams are rebuilding. Do you want to show them who’s the better team in New York?
A: That’s part of the rivalry. We’re both rebuilding, so we want to see who’s going along in the rebuilding process faster.
Q: Do guys trash talk to try to get in your head?
A: No, ’cause they know I’m not responsive. They know I’m not gonna try to fall into that trap of getting out of my game.
Q: How do they know that unless they try it?
A: You can tell on the court, you can tell how a player is. I guess they get that vibe from me.
Q: What is your scouting report on Jarrett Allen?
A: He likes to do a lot of pick-and-rolls. … He’s good at setting screens. … He’s pretty quick running the floor. He’s athletic, a lob threat … and he’s working on his corner 3.
Q: How good do you think you can be?
A: I don’t even know how good I can be. A lot of people say I have a lot of potential. I don’t really know what that means. I’m just trying to work my hardest just to see what eventually that potential can become.
Q: How good do you want to be?
A: The best (laugh). That’s a tough thing to achieve, but there’s no reason to train the way I’m training if I don’t want to be the best.
Q: If you could test your skills against anyone in NBA history, who would it be?
A: If I wanted to measure, then it would obviously be Michael Jordan. But just personally, I’m thinking George Gervin or Tim Duncan.
Q: Why Duncan?
A: He’s been one of my favorite players for a long time and being from Texas, and living there for a long time. And then George Gervin, played on his AAU team a little bit, so I actually got to meet him a while ago. The finger roll, I want to see how icy that is, The Iceman (chuckle).
Q: What is your best NBA moment?
A: When I got drafted [22nd overall by the Nets in 2017], I know that’s probably the cliché answer, but that’s like the staple of like I finally achieved my dream type thing.
Q: What is your worst NBA moment?
A: I don’t remember what game it was, but Coach had me take the ball out at the end of the game, he trusted me to take it out, but I think I ended up turning it over, the last inbound of the game. It was early in my rookie year.
Q: Compare University of Texas coach Shaka Smart and Coach Atkinson.
A: They both bring the energy. They want the best for you, and they’re gonna push you to be the best.
Q: Describe Nets fans.
A: There’s two groups. There’s the diehard Net fans — we have a section called Brooklyn Brigade in the arena, and they come to almost every game. Then you have the casual Nets fan that’s on the street, they’ll wave hi to you, they’ll know who you are. But they’re all supportive, they all want the team in Brooklyn, they all want something to root for.
Q: If you were NBA commissioner, you would …
A: I’d be nervous (laugh).
Q: Why would you be nervous?
A: There’s so much pressure on you. It’s a player’s league really, so it’ll be tough to like match all the players’ wants and needs.
Q: Any changes you would make to the game?
A: Not really. I’ll give credit to Adam Silver, he’s done a great job progressing the game and trying to expand from what the NBA was before, and he’s trying to leave his mark and I really respect that.
Q: What did you learn from the Globetrotters when they visited?
A: Trick moves. Always have fun with everything. It’s a job, but there’s still moments to have fun.
Q: What trick moves did you learn?
A: Bouncing the ball off my knee, off my foot, then just spinning it and stuff.
Q: Would you think about being a Globetrotter one day?
A: No, but for me, no (laugh). I entertain on the basketball court, but I don’t think I can entertain in that way.
Q: What else is on your bucket list?
A: I want to go camping in Maine after the season.
Q: Three wishes?
A: I don’t know. I’m pretty content with my life (laugh). I hate to not answer your question like that, but I’m really content with my life.
Q: Why have you and Spencer Dinwiddie clicked?
A: In the same group of stuff. We have the same interest.
Q: He doesn’t build computers like you do …
A: No, but he’s into like cryptocurrency and all that, and I’m interested in what he talks about and like how that works. He likes “Dragon Ball Z,” I like “Dragon Ball Z,” certain shows we like to watch.
Q: You threw out the first pitch at a Mets game last season. What was that like?
A: A little nerve-wracking, I’m not a baseball player. It’s like a tennis ball in my hand, I can squeeze all over it. I didn’t want to throw a ground ball or too high, ’cause I know I’m in New York, I’ll get booed (laugh).
Q: How’d you do?
A: I threw it a little high. [The catcher] had to jump up a little bit, but I got it to the plate.
Q: Who is one person you’d want with you on a deserted island?
A: MacGyver. … He can make anything out of anything (laugh).
Q: Why don’t you have a car?
A: I didn’t have a car in [Austin], Texas, so when I got drafted here, it’s like everything’s so expensive so it’s almost cheaper for me to not have a car.
Q: What do you like best about Brooklyn?
A: Everything’s walking distance.
Q: You sometimes walk home after games?
A: I did before, but now it’s like I’m more popular. People know who I am. … I got bombarded the other night trying to walk to my Uber (laugh). … Broadway, they don’t have that type of stuff in Austin.
Q: You’re talking about Manhattan now.
A: Like in essence, you go to Manhattan to do stuff, and then Brooklyn is more of the homie area in my opinion. You go to the city to have a nice dinner or something. You dress up to go to Manhattan, you wear your normal clothes in Brooklyn.
Q: What are your favorite Brooklyn things?
A: I would say the food. In the summertime, the Park Slope park [Prospect Park] up there is amazing. I have Whole Foods walking distance from home, that’s an underrated part about Brooklyn to me (laugh).
Q: You cook, right?
A: I do.
Q: What’s your go-to dish?
A: I don’t really have a go-to, but I do like making noodles, like Asian noodles (laugh).
Q: Have you built any computers lately?
A: I did actually. Black Friday sale, so I hopped all over that (laugh).
Q: What did you buy?
A: Just all the PC parts. Newegg is a website for electronics. I got it all from there.
Q: How long did it take you to build it?
A: I was trying to teach my girlfriend how to build it, so it took a lot longer than expected. If it was only me, it’d be like maybe 2 hours, 2¹/₂ hours.
Q: You could have a different career if you wanted, right?
A: If I wanted, yeah I could, but I like using that more as a hobby, something to escape basketball.
Q: Three dinner guests?
A: Will Smith from “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Obama, Miyamoto from Nintendo.
Q: Favorite Italian restaurants?
A: La Villa; Forno Rosso.
Q: Favorite movie?
A: “The LEGO Movie,” “Isle of Dogs.”
Q: Favorite actor?
A: Will Smith.
Q: Favorite actress?
A: Queen Latifah.
Q: Favorite singer/entertainer?
A: Childish Gambino [aka Donald Glover].
Q: Favorite meal?
A: Chicken alfredo pasta.
Q: What is your career goal?
A: I want to go out saying I played the way I wanted to play. I did it my way. I know I’m the geek of the NBA, I’m the (chuckle) outlander, the outsider of the NBA, but I still want to say I did it my way.
Q: What do you mean you know you’re the geek of the NBA?
A: ’Cause I like computers and stuff. I’m the outlandish NBA player, but I still want to say I did it my way. … I guess I’m just different from people in the NBA, so I’m just gonna be myself.
Q: You like being different?
A: See that’s the thing, I don’t see myself as being different. So I’m just doing what I do (chuckle).