Kilpatrick Hungry to Make Nets

By Cory Wright

Sean Kilpatrick plans on doing whatever it takes to stick around with the Brooklyn Nets.

His hustle and work ethic earned Kilpatrick a second 10-day contract with the Nets on Wednesday, a necessary checkpoint to continue his audition and keep his dreams of staying in Brooklyn alive.

“It was a big relief,” Kilpatrick said. “I just want to continue to keep doing what I do best and keep making sure that I come to practice and work hard and stay late hours and continue to keep laying my mark here.”

Kilpatrick is working tirelessly to earn a full contract in the NBA and is sacrificing things like sleep to get it. The Nets landed back in Brooklyn at about 2:30 a.m. after their game in Toronto on Tuesday night and Kilpatrick was in the gym taking shots by 8:45 a.m.

“[Shooting coach] David Nurse has really been helping me get my shots off,” Kilpatrick said. “[The coaches] are helping me come here in the mornings and getting the work in. That’s something that’s been helping me confidence-wise and skill-wise.”

The work ethic isn’t lost on Interim Head Coach Tony Brown.

“When you have a guy coming up from the D-League who wants to be in the NBA, there’s a certain level of being hungry and wanting to impress,” he said. “I can’t take anything away from him. So far, he’s done all the right things and hopefully with the second 10-day he’ll continue to do that.”

Kilpatrick, who signed his first 10-day contract on Feb. 28, is averaging 9.4 points in 16.6 minutes per game, while shooting 41% from the field and 50% from three-point range. He had a career-high 19 points in 26 minutes in an extended look on March 5 against Minnesota.

“He’s a scorer in the D-League and he’s brought that to the NBA,” Brown said. “He recognizes when he has shots and recognizes when he has to attack off the dribble. He has a good feel for the game.”

The 26-year-old had a cup of coffee with both the Denver Nuggets earlier this season and the New Orleans Pelicans in the preseason, but wasn’t able to secure a roster spot out of either opportunity. The Yonkers, NY native is finding more of a fit close to home in Brooklyn.

“Coach Brown gave me an opportunity,” Kilpatrick said. “A lot of guys throughout the game, especially guys like Markel, Shane, and I can even hear Rondae on the bench call out the plays and tell me where to go because this is my second practice, so this is something that’s fairly new to me. These guys like me and like my attitude a lot. They really feed off the type of energy that I give.”

Nothing is assured yet for the hungry guard, who the Nets will either have to sign or let go at the end of the 10-day contract (March 19). Till then, he’s just going to worry about what he can control, which is his work ethic and his play. 

“The business part, the business aspect, that’s not in my hands,” he said. “I just want to continue to focus on the basketball stuff. That’s all I can control.”

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