The dizzying whirlwind that swept up Alize Johnson started in the wee hours Sunday morning in Pennsylvania, included a drive to Brooklyn and a Nets debut Wednesday in Utah.
Johnson had finished the G-League season and was in Willamsport, Pa., at his mother’s house — the house he’d bought her last November — when his phone rang. On the other end was his agent, George Langberg, with a rhetorical question.
“When I told him the news, it was 1 a.m. on Sunday,” Langberg told The Post. “When Sean [Marks] hit me, I called Alize. He was away in Williamsport, at the house he bought for his mother. I called him, and he picked up. I asked how would you like to be a Brooklyn Net?”
Of course, Johnson answered the way anybody would.
“He was like, are you [screwing] with me,” Langberg said.
But the Nets weren’t messing with him. They sent a car service to bring him to Brooklyn for a physical, signed him to a 10-day deal and flew him to Utah the next day while they were beating Portland. They joined up with him in Salt Lake City, and he was introduced to his new coaches and teammates.
“It was crazy,” said Johnson, 24. “I got the phone call from my agent, and he told me I was going to be a Brooklyn Net. I was excited just knowing the great guys they’ve got here and the vets.
“Then just coming here and that flight was about five hours, that was long. But then I got in and I met [coach Steve] Nash. He was one of the first people I met. I’d been watching him for a while, so that was pretty cool. Just getting all that information and getting out there on the floor, it’s just truly a blessing, and I can’t be happier.”
Johnson barely had time to learn much of what the Nets were running, but getting pregame encouragement from Nash and James Harden helped the 6-foot-7 forward.
“Nash and James [telling me] go out there and play hard and just have fun. Hearing that from those two guys makes you confident going out there playing,” Johnson said. “That really helped me, just made me get out there and be comfortable.”
Johnson debuted with 23 points and 15 rebounds, shooting 11-of-15. He’s just the second Net to notch 20 and 15 in his debut, and first since 1979. It was a great first impression, with a possibility of a second 10-day contract — or more.
“It’s been positive dialogue. A second 10-day is in play. We’ll see what happens with the deadline and whatnot,” Langberg told The Post. “It definitely has not been ruled out for the rest of season, because they do have [an] open roster spot. They definitely like his potential, what he brings, his approach, tenacity.”
Harden (neck) is questionable Friday in Detroit. Landry Shamet (right ankle) is out, but Blake Griffin will play.
Pistons Hamidou Diallo and Rodney McGruder were upgraded to probable. Dennis Smith Jr. (lumbar soreness) is questionable while Killian Hayes and Jahlil Okafor are out.