Even though Sean Kilpatrick signed a three-year deal with the Nets in March, he said he has maintained the mentality of someone fighting for a chance in the NBA.
“I just look at it as if I’m still on a 10-day ,” Kilpatrick said Tuesday after the Nets’ summer league team practiced in Brooklyn. “I mean I think that’s something that helps me continue to be humble about certain things and not only that but continue to keep grinding the way I’ve been throughout my whole life.”
Kilpatrick is one of three Nets with NBA experience who won’t have to worry about jobs next fall as they compete in the Las Vegas summer league, which begins July 8. Kilpatrick and 2015 first-round picks Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough will make the trip west and play under new head coach Kenny Atkinson.
“Being able to develop camaraderie with Rondae and Chris, that’s something that’s really amazing for us,” Kilpatrick said. “We’ve been here for the past three months grinding nonstop. We’ve been seeing a lot of different flashes of how we can get better.”
For much of last season, those three were not on the floor. Kilpatrick saw limited action in Denver before the Nets acquired him in late February. Hollis-Jefferson played in 29 games because of injuries, and McCullough did not debut until February 8 because he was recovering from a torn ACL.
All three said having the chance to get more action together — in a setting where they will be the unquestioned leaders of the team, too — can only help. And they’ll also be the first Nets to experience playing a game under Atkinson.
“He’s big on making people better, helping you understand the game more, taking the time out to show you that he cares,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “I would go to war for coach because he’s been good.”
Nets complete staff
The Nets announced their finalized coaching staff Tuesday. Former Orlando Magic head coach Jacques Vaughn headlines the group of assistants, but Kenny Atkinson also added Chris Fleming and Bret Brielmaier as assistant coaches, Adam Harrington as assistant coach and director of player development, Jordan Ott as assistant coach and manager of advance scouting and Mike Batiste as player development assistant.