Alize Johnson can stay with the Nets after impressive debut


The dizzying whirlwind that swept through Alize Johnson began early Sunday morning in Pennsylvania, included a trip to Brooklyn and a Nets debut Wednesday in Utah.

Johnson had finished the G-League season and was in Willamsport, Pennsylvania, at his mother’s house, the house he had bought for her last November, when his phone rang. At the other end was his agent, George Langberg, with a rhetorical question.

“When I told him the news, it was 1 am on Sunday,” Langberg told The Post. “When Sean [Marks] hit me, I called Alize. He was in Williamsport, in the house he bought for his mother. I called him and he answered. I asked you how you would like to be a Brooklyn Net? “

Of course, Johnson responded as anyone would.

“He was like, are you [screwing] with me, ”Langberg said.

Networking
Alize Johnson of the Nets fights for the ball with Mike Conley.
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But the Nets weren’t messing with him. They sent a car service to take him to Brooklyn for a physical, signed him to a 10-day contract, and drove him to Utah the next day while they beat Portland. They joined him in Salt Lake City and introduced him to his new coaches and teammates.

“It was crazy,” said 24-year-old Johnson. “I got the phone call from my agent and he said it was going to be a Brooklyn Net. I was excited to meet the great guys they have here and the vets.

“So just coming here and that flight lasted about five hours, that was long. But then I walked in and found myself [coach Steve] Nash. He was one of the first people I met. I had been watching it for a while, so it was great. Just getting all that information and going out on the floor is truly a blessing, and I couldn’t be happier. “

Johnson barely had time to learn much about what the Nets were up to, but getting the pregame encouragement from Nash and James Harden helped the 6-foot-7 forward.

“Nash and James [telling me] Get out there and play hard and have fun. Hearing that from those two guys gives you confidence to play, ”Johnson said. “That really helped me, it just made me go out there and feel comfortable.”

Johnson debuted with 23 points and 15 rebounds, shooting 11 of 15. It is only the second Net to reach 20 and 15 in his debut, and the first since 1979. It was a great first impression, with the possibility of a second contract of 10 days, or more.

“It has been a positive dialogue. A second day of 10 is at stake. We’ll see what happens with the deadline and all that, “Langberg told The Post. “It has definitely not been ruled out for the rest of the season, because they do have [an] open list square. They definitely like his potential, what he brings, his focus, tenacity. “


Harden (neck) is questionable on Friday in Detroit. Landry Shamet (right ankle) is out, but Blake Griffin will play.

Hamidou Diallo and Rodney McGruder pistons became probable. Dennis Smith Jr. (low back pain) is questionable while Killian Hayes and Jahlil Okafor are out.

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