“Passionate” and “cool-minded” are not in conflict. The two qualities together are “courageous and resourceful”.
Obviously, Warriors rookie Podemski is this kind of person. Podemski has the passion and energy that young people should have, and at the same time has the strategy and calmness that veterans should have. Podemski, who is only 20 years old, has been criticized as “young and mature”.
Playing against the Nets, at the critical moment, Bodemski grabbed the backcourt rebound and moved it to the midline, then made a hand-off to assist Curry to complete the layup, and then led the backcourt Guarded Cameron Thomas and successfully defended Thomas’ three-pointer.
Playing against the Trail Blazers, Bodemski “blocked the hole of the gun” at the last moment and caused Sharp an offensive foul, using an extreme defense to help the Warriors lock down Victory.
In both games, Podemski left a scene of roaring and celebrating. Without Draymond Green, Bodemski has become the source of energy for the Warriors.
“He will play, he will play every night, he has earned the right to play. I am willing to play him in the decisive moment because He can understand the whole situation and he has the ability to predict,” Kerr said of Podemski.
Unlike those players who grew up with basketball, Podemski did not start playing basketball until the 8th grade. At first, he liked baseball, but the rhythm of baseball was too slow. , when Podemski watched the fast-paced offensive and defensive basketball through television broadcasts, he was immediately attracted.
“The rhythms of baseball and basketball are completely opposite. Baseball is a slow-paced sport. After watching the basketball game on TV, I felt that basketball was very exciting. It was funny, I wanted to try it out and see if I was good at basketball. Then in eighth grade I picked up a basketball and couldn’t stop it,” Podemski recalled.
A late start could not conceal Bodemski’s talent. In high school, he won the Wisconsin Mr. Basketball Award and was elected Best of the Best. Podemski was the player of the year and was recruited by many NCAA teams. He eventually chose to go to the University of Illinois to play for coach Brad Underwood. But in his freshman season, there were more senior players at the University of Illinois, and Podemski got few opportunities. Originally, Bodemski wanted to endure it, but Underwood’s words “You’re not good enough” made him break through and finally chose to transfer.
“I don’t want to risk staying there at the age of 20 and not being able to play. I have to find someone who can provide me with opportunities to play. school,” said Bodemski, who accepted a recruit from Santa Clara University and went to the small school that had produced Nash and Jaylen Williams.
The last time Santa Clara University played in the NCAA tournament was back in the 1995-96 season, and the team’s exposure rate was indeed not high. But Santa Clara University can provide Bodemski with the opportunity to play. Here, he played 32 games as a starter, averaging 19.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.8 steals in 36 minutes per game. , shooting 43.8% from three-point range.
Podemski’s draft price after finishing his sophomore season was in the second round. During the joint trial, Podemski The base has greatly improved the market.
Podemski is 1.93 meters tall without shoes, which is enough for a defender. His athletic ability is far underestimated. During the run-up test, the maximum distance between his feet and the ground was 99 centimeters, which many executives called “unexpected.” Bodemski trained with former Marquette University sharpshooter Travis Diener to further strengthen his shooting. He called his shooting ability his greatest advantage. In the actual joint trial match, Podemski scored 10 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds in 22 minutes.
Podemski has attracted the attention of more than 10 teams, and his draft price has been promoted to the first round. In the 2023 draft, the Warriors selected Podemski with the 19th pick.
Judging from the remarks of Cole and Dunleavy about Podemski after the draft, they did not expect Podemski to become an immediate combatant in his rookie season. As far as he can perform this season In terms of role, they have higher expectations for No. 57 pick Trayce Jackson-Davis, who has played in college for four years. After all, the Warriors are short of inside players. However, injuries, the performance of some players did not meet expectations, and Green was dismissed twice. The suspension gave Podemski a chance.
In the first 11 games of the season, Podemski played 6 games, averaging Played for 8.7 minutes. In the next 15 games, Podemski played in 14 games, averaging more than 27 minutes per game. After recently becoming the starter, Podemski has played more than 30 minutes in three consecutive games.
Podemski’s rise to the top is related to opportunity. When fate gave him the opportunity to grow, he began to stand out. On December 1, the Warriors narrowly defeated the Rapids On the ship, Bodemski scored 13 points and 8 rebounds. What impressed Cole and his teammates was not his offensive and all-around statistics, but his accurate defense change at a critical moment.
At that time, there was half a minute left before the end of the game. The Warriors led by 6 points, and the defensive focus was to defend against three-pointers. Podemski’s initial matchup was Harden. When George set a screen for Harden, Podemski Demski quickly switched to the outside to face George, but George made a mistake in handling the ball. Green lamented: “Generally speaking, rookies cannot disrupt the opponent’s tactical execution. Instead, they will mess up the tactics, but Podemski will not. ”
Over the years, the Warriors have come into their own.Talent inspection system. Of course they value Podemski’s shooting attributes and organizational attributes, but these alone may not be able to be integrated into the Warriors system. What impressed the Warriors the most about Podemski were the intangible assets – hard work and willpower, basketball IQ, and defensive attitude, which are what the talented new stars who were abandoned by the Warriors lacked.
Kerr praised Bodemski’s hard work, saying “he can put Bodemski in any situation.” The base can be placed anywhere”. Saric praised Bodemski as a “fighter”, Curry was impressed by his strong self-confidence, and Dunleavy lamented that his defense after gaining weight far exceeded expectations.
When you piece all these qualities together, do you think of DiVincenzo, the Warriors’ darling last season? Interestingly, Podemski’s ambition before the draft was to become DiVincenzo.
“Yes, other rising stars have better athletic ability than me, but I can bring the team basketball IQ, game feeling and Skills,” Podemski said confidently before the draft. “My athletic ability is not as good as many people, but I can defend, rebound, shoot, and pass. I can be a good team player. For example, the Warriors’ Dee Vincenzo. The Warriors had a lot of injuries, but he stepped up and became the starter. He can rebound, defend, shoot, pass, execute tactics, he can do it all, and so can I.”
In the 2023 offseason, due to the provisions of the labor agreement, the Warriors could not come up with an offer that satisfied DiVincenzo, so DiVincenzo joined the Knicks. The Warriors were deeply saddened by the helpless loss of this versatile player, and Bodemski’s emergence gave the Warriors comfort.
This season, with Podemski on the court, the Warriors scored 116.3 points per 100 possessions, lost 109.5 points, and won by 6.8 points per 100 possessions. . Last season, with DiVincenzo on the court, the Warriors won by 2.9 points per 100 possessions.
After the draft, Podemski posted Underwood on social mediaDe’s comment “You’re not good enough” was not only a response to being looked down upon by the coach by being selected as the No. 19 pick, but also a way to motivate himself to become a better player.
Now that Bodemski has established a foothold in the Warriors, he will still remind himself of “you are not good enough” all the time. . The road is still long, don’t be proud or complacent.