Around 50 kids of all ages showed up to get groomed and meet the NBA prospect, who arrived in Brooklyn from the University of Texas after being selected 22nd overall in the NBA Draft this past June.
Allen, who has already gained fanfare for his distinct afro, declined to get rid of the signature hairstyle. But he was there for the kids, and with the NBA just around the corner, he shared some thoughts on what is expected to be an exciting season in Brooklyn, bringing forth a vastly different vibe than the previous couple of seasons.
The center, with a wingspan of over seven feet, could become an integral part of the team in his inaugural campaign with the Nets, who begin a five-day training camp on September 26 at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis.
“What Nets culture means to me is that everybody is on the same page and everybody is fighting for the right thing,” he said. “From a business standpoint, if you don’t have the right culture then you can’t strive for what you want.
“Teams like Golden State, the Spurs, all great teams have a culture and that’s what we’re trying to bring to Brooklyn,” he added.
Culture has grown into something of a buzzword in Brooklyn, beginning with the arrival of general manager Sean Marks in 2016, and has trickled down on to each and every player that has donned the black-and-white since.
One Net who has already used the term with the press is new, high-profile addition D’Angelo Russell, who came to Brooklyn in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers just days before Allen was selected on draft night.
Allen, like most others, has high expectations for his uber-talented teammate, who is looked at as the crown jewel of the Nets off-season - and perhaps the franchise - at this point.
“He’s great with the ball, makes good decisions and makes really good passes,” Allen said of Russell. “He’s going to find me. Being 6’10” and athletic, I’ll be doing a lot of pick-and-rolls with D’Angelo. Set him good screens, roll to the basket or pop and let him do his work and lob it up to me eventually.”