Brooklyn’s Caris LeVert talks contract, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Nets’ expectations

first_imgPICKERINGTON, Ohio — Caris LeVert did the work to be a steady NBA player. Now, he’s ready to do the work to become a superstar.  Perhaps that explains why the Nets small forward handled the career-changing moments in the last 12 months in stride. LeVert went from suffering a viral injury in November to playing on a team with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan next season. He also signed a three-year, $52.5 million extension to stay in Brooklyn.  Despite all that, LeVert — who turned 25 last week — handled that success with the same even-keeled approach that got him there. He hosted the Caris LeVert Basketball Academy at Pickerington Central High School on Sunday. For LeVert, this is the best part of the job.  “It felt gratifying with all the work I’ve put in since I was a kid, but I think for me I have a lot more work to do,” LeVert told SN. “People are excited for me, but at the same time I feel like I still have that much work to do because I want to be up there with the top players in the league.”  “That’s the goal,” LeVert said of competing for a title. “When you get guys like KD, Kyrie and DeAndre, expectations rise. We’re looking forward to that. We’ve been working for that. I think everybody loves playing on a big stage. We’re definitely looking forward to this year and the challenges it’s going to bring.” LeVert then capped the summer with that extension he signed on his birthday. A week later, he was back in Pickerington teaching basketball. LeVert’s career has come full circle once. The next go-around should be even better. That’s what he is working toward now.  “Wherever you come up from, that definitely prepares you for the next stage in the life,” LeVert said. “For me, just playing here gave us a lot of competition. There was a lot of kids that were good when I was younger. A lot of kids who were talented and good at a lot of different sports. It helped me get ready for the next level, for sure.” Caris LeVert speaks at his basketball camp in Pickerington, Ohio, on Sunday. (Bill Bender/SN)LeVert averaged 13.7 points, 3.9 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game for the Nets last season, but a gruesome leg injury suffered on Nov. 11, 2018 while attempting to block a shot sidelined him for a big chunk of the season. LeVert, however, returned less than three months later after what first appeared to be a career-threatening injury.”That’s all credit due to God and the training staff,” LeVert said. “They pushed me every single day. Rehab was really, really tough. That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. We just pushed every single day. We did two-a-days and three-a-days. It all paid off in the end.”  LeVert had a breakout performance in the first round of the NBA playoffs against Philadelphia, averaging 21 points per game in the five-game series. The Nets lost, but the offseason additions of Durant, Irving and Jordan should make Brooklyn one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference next season.  LeVert recalled pulling up Instagram to see the Durant news on June 30. He jumped off the couch. “That’s news that changes your perspective on things,” LeVert said. “I knew it was in the works but didn’t know it was official. When I found out I was really happy.” LeVert played on Michigan’s Final Four team as a freshman in 2012-13. This is the first time since he will be on a team that will be expected to compete for NBA Finals appearances.   (Bill Bender / Sporting News) read more

Carles Puyol turns down chance to be Roberto Mancini’s assistant at Inter

first_imgCarles Puyol has rejected an offer from the new Inter Milan manager, Roberto Mancini, to become his assistant at the Seria A club, according to ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’. 21/11/2014 Upd. at 19:57 Carlos Dominguez CET Firstly, the former Barcelona defender has still not taken all his coaching badges; he has no experience as a manager – despite being an expert leader on the pitch – and that would also be a handicap, he felt. Mancini called Puyol personally – despite not knowing him – on Monday with the object of explaining his proposal. It seems that Puyol did take a couple of days to think about the offer, although he eventually decided not to take it up for a few different reasons. But also, among other reasons, because of his strong ties with Barcelona. He has only just began his new job working alongside Andoni Zubizarreta.last_img read more

Juventus’ Carlos Tevez reckons Atletico Madrid can win Champions League

first_img “Now the real Champions League starts.” “They close the space really well and are dangerous on the counter. I see them as one of the candidates to win the Champions League.” Upd. at 17:17 CET “They’re a team the play together really well,” Tevez said of Diego Simeone’s side. “They are a difficult rival. The Argentine striker’s Juventus side got the point they needed against the Spanish champions to progress to the knockout stages themselves, but never looked liked recording the two goal win they needed to finish top of the group. Atleti were beaten in the final last season by Real Madird; they’ll hope to go one better this time round.center_img EFE / Sport EN “Getting to the next round was the objective we had,” he continued in his interview with ‘Canal Plus’. “Last year we didn’t achieve that, so we have hit an important target. 10/12/2014 The former Manchester City striker wasn’t dwelling on coming second in the group; instead he was happy to make the last 16 after crashing out in the group stages last season. Carlos Tevez says Atletico Madrid can win the Champions League seasonlast_img read more