24 Seconds presented by Ibotta: Jose Alvarado at midpoint of rookie year

This month as part of our “24 Seconds” weekly Q&A series, Pelicans.com is checking in with New Orleans’ rookies to ask them about their adjustment to the professional level, at the halfway mark of the 2021-22 regular season. This week’s edition features undrafted two-way contract player Jose Alvarado, who recently has moved into a role as an every-game member of Willie Green’s rotation:

Pelicans.com: What has the adjustment been like for you from college to the NBA in terms of the game schedule?

Alvarado: I’m definitely learning fast. When I started playing the first time, I probably played like 10 minutes, (but) my body was hurting. I’m like, I (only) played 10 minutes, but my body was hurting. I played those 10 minutes hard. It definitely takes a toll on your body if you don’t take care of it, but I’ve got great vets that show me the right way, and I started using that cold tub and hot tub like it’s mine. [laughs]

Pelicans.com: What has the experience been like to play in all of these NBA arenas? For a young basketball player, it seems like a dream come true.

Alvarado: It’s amazing. When I was a kid, I probably only went to a Knicks game one time, maybe twice. Now I get to say that I’m not just going, but I’m actually on a bench, on a team. Every time I go to an arena I take a picture, send it to my dad or whoever, and be like ‘How cool is this?’ It’s just an amazing feeling. Every time I step on the court is amazing. Even coming to the practice facility and putting on a practice jersey, it makes me feel like I did a lot to come here.

Pelicans.com: As a New York City native, what’s it going to be like to go to Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden as a player?

Alvarado: I don’t know how I’m going to feel. Those two games are going to mean a lot to me. My parents are coming, and they’re not putting a jersey (of a given NBA player) on. They’re going to put a jersey on that matters. It’s going to be a really cool moment and maybe a little emotional seeing my parents wearing my jersey, and (seeing) my family. There are going to be a lot of people cheering me on. It’s going to be a really cool experience.

Pelicans.com: One of the major differences between the NBA and college schedule is the number of games you play per week. Do you like playing four or five games in a week, instead of two?

Alvarado: It’s cool. One thing I like about it is you might have one day that’s not your favorite (game), but guess what? In the next two days, you get to bounce right back (with another game). In college, you’ve got to drill on it in practice for like five days. (In the NBA), you move on fast. You miss a shot or turn the ball over, just keep on pushing. The schedule is definitely faster than college. You just have to have a short-term memory (here).