New Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Jack learned about the next major step in his professional basketball career in somewhat of an unconventional manner.
“I was actually in class,” Jack said Thursday afternoon. “I was sitting in class and got a phone call from my agent. He was singing the ‘New York, New York’ song.”
Jack, who is 30 years old, says he has one more class to complete before his tentative graduation in December, a leadership course. He stepped out of the classroom and learned that he’d be leaving Cleveland for the last two years of his contract. Not many 30-year-old millionaires learn of their next destination while taking notes in a classroom.
He joins the Nets as the team’s tentative backup guard to Deron Williams, though there’s also the possibility that he’d start, like Shaun Livingston did next to Williams last season.
“I spoke to coach Hollins this morning,” Jack said. “We didn’t get into particulars about where in the rotation (I’d fit). Players kind of fill it in themselves when the time comes.”
Jack was the 22nd overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft, the fifth point guard selected behind Deron Williams (3rd), Chris Paul (4th), Raymond Felton (5th), and Nate Robinson (21st). He is a personal friend of Williams, and connected with him Wednesday night to talk some personal logistics.
He has career averages of 14.0 points, 5.6 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per 36 minutes, shooting 44.3 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from three-point range. His numbers dipped in his lone season with the Cavaliers, something he attributes to his role in that season. “On different teams, you have to do different things,” Jack said.
Jack says he hasn’t been watching free agency too closely. It’s of widespread belief that the Cavaliers traded Jack for the sole purpose of clearing the necessary cap room to sign LeBron James to a max contract, which getting Jack’s salary off the books allows them to do.
But for the Nets, Jack gives them an immediate role-filler: he can spell Williams of ball-handling duties, space the floor with his shooting, attack the basket, and create for others.
Or in his words: “I play hard, just try to bring it every night.”