Brooklyn Nets' Isaiah Whitehead Q and A: NBA Draft, Offseason and Parenthood
The 23-year-old built a solid foundation in the G League last season and is eyeing to showcase his progress
Isaiah Whitehead was one of the G League's elite scorers in the 2017-18 campaign and he hopes he can build on that heading into next season.
Due to the Brooklyn Nets’ heavy rotation of guards, Whitehead’s playing time was limited last season as he appeared in 16 games. Still, he is encouraged by the strides made in Long Island, where he averaged 22.3 points per game on 45 percent shooting. The Brooklyn native is also motivated by conversations that he's had with Kenny Atkinson in the offseason and the opportunity to play in front of family and friends in his hometown.
In an one-on-one sitdown with BrooklynNets.com, Whitehead recalls his draft experience, discusses parenthood and looks ahead to next season.
Talk about your draft experience, what do you remember from it?
It was very nerve-wracking -- you never know where you going to get picked. You have your whole family there and you don’t want to not get picked because they are there and it’s been your dream for your whole life. That moment I did get picked, it was like a dream come true. It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders and it was [good] to start getting ready for the next level.
What did it mean to end up with the Nets?
It meant everything. I actually thought I was heading to Utah until I got to the back and they told me about the trade. It was a dream come true. I had passed Barclays Center multiple times and I’d been to games. It was definitely great to know that I was going to be a part of the show that’s always there.
What was some of the best family reactions that you can share about when you did get drafted by the Nets?
My Mom was crazy excited, that I wasn’t going anywhere at all. She was definitely excited that I’d be closer to home. My little brother jumped out of his seat when I told him. He was excited that I wasn’t going to leave him. I’ve been there since I was born of course. Me not being there, looking after him and tucking him into bed would’ve been tough for him, so he was definitely excited.
How’s your offseason been?
It’s been great. Definitely positive on the basketball side and things are definitely positive at home too. I get to spend time with my daughter -- I just had her, she’s one years old. Definitely great to be able to come to work and have all of the coaches here and then be able to go home and see your family, there’s nothing like it.
How does parenthood change things for you?
It changes everything. Now it’s not about yourself, it’s about your child. It’s different type of work ethic now, a different type of mindset. It’s the gym then home, nowhere else. Where else would you rather be then with your one-year old?
Last year, you did a lot of great things with the Long Island Nets. Can you build off that in Brooklyn next season?
Definitely, I talk to coach Kenny every day. Just about staying consistent, staying great with your habits. Eating, sleeping – everything just be ready for when that time comes. He says it’s going to come, so I’m here for it.