Brandin Podziemski

Podz recalls ‘sad' text exchange with CP3 during free agency

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Young Warriors guard Brandin Podziemski has had a rude awakening to NBA free agency during his first professional offseason.

The 21-year-old, who was a standout rookie during the 2023-24 NBA season, just lost two mentors and Golden State teammates, Chris Paul and Klay Thompson, in under 24 hours.

Embracing change, particularly Paul’s departure, was a hard pill to swallow for Podziemski. However, the All-Rookie guard remains focused on helping Golden State win, regardless of who will be suiting up next to him during the 2024-25 NBA season.

“Seeing Chris [leave] -- I texted him yesterday, it was pretty sad,” Podziemski told reporters at a 2024 summer league press conference Monday. “But whoever shows up on October 1st is what we have to rock with. Whether we’re a young team, whether we’re old again, whether we’re not, whether we have stars around [Steph Curry] or not, we’re going to have to work with it and we’re going to have to figure it out. 

“For me, that’s what I’ve been working toward. These last 8 to 10 weeks, just getting better, as close as I can to being a star.”

Podziemski quickly learned that the NBA is a business. 

Paul, a 12-time NBA All-Star, is heading to his fifth different team (San Antonio Spurs) since the 2018-19 season. And Thompson, a four-time champion and 13-year veteran with the Warriors, didn’t see eye-to-eye with the only organization he had ever known and is joining the Dallas Mavericks. 

The pair of now-Texas-bound guards served as key mentors for Podziemski last season, in addition to Golden State superstar Steph Curry. Only one of those veteran guards remains.

Fortunately, Podziemski has been looking forward to an increased workload and helping Curry in all facets. Depletion doesn’t scare the Santa Clara product.

“It is definitely crazy,” Podziemski said of his first offseason. “I’ve never been a part of it, so seeing different people sign with different places every day is definitely different. 

“[From] my perspective and how I would handle things, whoever’s with us on Media Day is who we have to work with, and that’s all you can really go by. When we’re at Media Day or in training camp, that’s what we have to work with, so that’s what I’m focused on.”

Podziemski, the Warriors and Dub Nation alike surely are torn to see Thompson, in particular, leave the Bay. 

But change is inevitable. And one day, Curry, Draymond Green and Steve Kerr will suit up for Golden State one last time.

It is best to take a page out of Podziemski’s book and to be dialed in on the Warriors’ future.

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