A few weeks back, Landry Shamet was working out in L.A. with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving like a lot of other NBA players, never realizing that the two superstars would be his teammates by Draft Night. He got a front row view of what to expect this season in Brooklyn … and he was very impressed.
“This summer, that’s who I was primarily playing a lot of pick-up with at Mamba Sports Academy,” said Shamet who did a Zoom call with the Nets beat writers Friday. “Over my offseason, I have been able to play with those guys, against them, and get to know them. I’m excited…
“They look great,. KD looks great. Kyrie looks great. I am not them though so I don’t know where they are at and what more is left. If they are there all the way but from outside looking in, they look really good.”
Now officially a Brooklyn Net, Shamet is already thinking of ways to integrate his game with theirs … and get those guys their shots.
“I like how they both play, both move, they want to set screens and play in space,” he told reporters.
“They are unselfish, willing passers, smart, and my wheels have been spinning on how I can get involved, how I can get those guys shots, and how I will be able to contribute as well so I am just really excited. Obviously, I’ve been lucky. I’m 23 years old, third year in the league, and I have played with some really really good players in this league and these two just add to that list so I’m excited and really like what we have here.”
The 6’4” Wichita State product was traded by the Clippers to the Nets in a three-team deal finalized on Thursday night. The Nets also acquired Bruce Brown, another 6’4” guard, and the rights to 6’10” Mississippi State center Reggie Perry. Friday’s meeting with the media marked Shamet’s debut as a Nets.
Asked what he brings to the Nets, Shamet emphasized sacrifice, passion for winning, and playing hard.
“For me, what I am going to bring is sacrifice,” Shamet said. “I am willing to do whatever for my teammates. I’ll give up myself for our team. I am all about winning. I want to win. That is what I am going to bring to the table and hopefully, it can rub off on a lot of other guys.”
Sean Marks noted in his post-draft presser earlier Friday that Shamet’s work ethic caught his eye. The Nets general manager said he’s been keeping a close eye on Shamet since he was in college and has followed the trajectory of his career.
“Both (referring to Bruce Brown as well) are very competitive,” Marks said. “Very diligent in their work ethic, watching them in simple things such as their pre-game warm-ups, how they prepare for games, and the attack in their approach. We watched these guys since college so it has been nice to follow the trajectory of their careers and what they add to our team.”
Beyond the work ethic, Marks also liked that for someone so young, Shamet has played in big games, often playing a big role as well. He’s played in 19 playoff games over the past two seasons. He understands the expectations and who his teammates are.
“Landry has played in big games, When you have played in playoff games and you are that age, that speaks volumes,” Marks said. “He has been trusted in the places he’s been and does not shy away from big moments. He goes back to the experience he already has but adding a shooting piece. Guys still think he’s a very versatile defender as well.”
In addition to being a 40 percent 3-point shooter, averaging 5.2 attempts per game, Shamet thinks of himself as a solid defender. He told reporters that on “D,” he’s all about communication and playing hard. He wants to bring those two qualities to every game in a Nets uniform.
“Just be a good talker and a good communicator,” Shamet said. “I know one thing and that’s my teammates won’t ever have to question if I’m playing hard. That’s number one. I take a lot of pride in that. There is never going to be a question if I am playing hard. They’ll know that I will bring that to the table every day. They will know what they are going to get. A lot of effort, a lot of communication, and a lot of unselfishness. I play hard and I communicate so that is what I am going to bring every day.”
This, of course, is not the first superstar duo he’s played with in his short career. He was drafted by the 76ers and played for half a season with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Then with the Clippers, he had Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. He notes how Durant and Irving are very different from George and Leonard.
“Just adapting to various situations and different personalities,” Shamet said. “Kyrie and Kevin are very different from PG (Paul George) and Kawhi (Leonard). I assume we are going to play differently so it will just depend on how coaches come in, what they want to do, how they want to implement guys, and it is my job to identify my job and my role. What I can do to help those two guys to make their lives easier and how I can be a threat and a weapon and bring to the table.”