David Nwaba is ready to make a big impact on next season’s Brooklyn Nets. His defensive intelligence could be an X-factor in big games.
Three days into training camp and the Brooklyn Nets seem ready for the regular season. Already, it appears that certain players are performing head and shoulders above the rest.
One of the early risers on Kenny Atkinson‘s roster appears to be newcomer David Nwaba. The New York Daily News‘ Kristian Winfield (a former ESNY alum, might I add) caught up with Nwaba and his coach about his potential role as a 2019-2020 Net.
Atkinson spoke glowingly of Nwaba’s presence, saying, “We felt him defensively today.” Delving deep, Atkinson added “He has excellent defensive instincts, and he’s strong as heck. He’s middle linebacker-ish. He’s tough.”
It appears Nwaba is ready to lay it all out for his new coach, stating he’s “all about making winning plays. Diving for loose balls, taking charges. The ugly plays win games.”
Of course, Nwaba recognized that his defensive value extends beyond just pure hustle. With a bulky 219-pound, 6-foot-4 frame, the 26-year-old has the size to move up and down the rotation depending upon his matchup. Last season, he toggled between positions 2-through-4 as a Cavalier. Knowing what we know about Kenny Atkinson and his fascination with small-ball, there’s a good chance Nwaba sees his positional variance only increase in Brooklyn.
Luckily for the Nets, Nwaba is up for the challenge. “I’m excited about whatever opportunity I get at any position. I have no issue guarding bigger guys.”
This season should bring Nwaba his first taste of the playoff experience. For a guy who thrives off a role-playing skillset — making the hustle plays and contributing by purely being complementary — Brooklyn could be where he finally finds his footing.
Nwaba answered these musings with an astute observation.
“Brooklyn was one of the teams to reach out to me. Just being a part of a winning culture. I’ve been a part of losing teams, so just to be a part of a team that made it to the playoffs. I wanted to be a part of that.”
Well, David, the Nets wanted you too. And it appears for good reason.
“I don’t want anyone to score on me, ever,” Nwaba said. “It’s a challenge I pride myself on stepping up and taking every day.”
This guy is the real deal, my homies.