Brandin Podziemski

Podziemski wants to bring European playing style to Warriors

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SAN FRANCISCO – Warriors first-round draft pick Brandin Podziemski doubled down -- no, tripled down -- on his triple-double aspirations. 

Podziemski, taken No. 19 overall, said on draft night that he could be a “triple-double guy in the NBA.” He repeated it the next day at Chase Center, and on Thursday said he wants at least two or three triple-doubles in the NBA Summer League. The Santa Clara Broncos product also expects to go a perfect 7-0 in summer league between the California Classic and Las Vegas. 

The California Classic at Golden 1 Center begins Monday where the Warriors will play two games in Sacramento, and then Golden State begins play in Las Vegas on Friday.

But Podziemski’s idols, the players he molds his game after, might come as a bit of a surprise. His favorite player is a fellow lefty, but one who never recorded a triple-double in his 16-year NBA career. However, his second-favorite is climbing up the all-time list of career triple-doubles. 

The 20-year-old rookie wants to bring a European style to San Francisco. 

He didn’t start playing basketball until seven years ago, yet is hailed for his feel of the game. And Podziemski believes he has a unique reason why.

“I think a big thing is watching a lot of European basketball,” Podziemski said in his pre-summer league press conference. “I think it's more team oriented and making the right play always.

“Obviously, my favorite player was Manu Ginobili growing up, so just watching a lot of European guys and how they play. It's always seemed like they play the right way, and just modeled my game after those type of guys.”

As a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Podziemski in his breakout sophomore season after transferring from Illinois, led the West Coast Conference in double-doubles (13), but didn’t record a triple-double. Podziemski also led the WCC in rebounds per game (8.8), was third in points per game 19.9 and fourth in assists per game (3.7). He was asked to be coach Herb Sendek’s lead scorer, and says he has more playmaking skills he can highlight as a passer. 

Podziemski also was 15 years old when Ginobili retired in 2018 from his Hall of Fame career, all which were as a San Antonio Spur. The newest Warrior also wasn't even born yet in 2002 when Ginobili played his last pro season in Italy. The Wisconsin native couldn’t turn on the family TV and turn on EuroLeague games. 

So he did what everyone, inside and outside of the sport, does on a daily basis: He turned to YouTube. 

“It was a lot of YouTube,” Podziemski said. “Obviously Manu when I picked it up was just on the back of his career, and [Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic] was just starting to play overseas, so a lot of him, Manu Ginobili. Those two guys really stuck out for me.”

Ginobili nor Doncic are the biggest influence on Podziemski’s basketball career thus far. Neither is his Sendek, his Santa Clara coach who has won over 500 college games, or any of his other past coaches. It’s not a star player or former teammate. Podziemski points to someone who has zero experience playing the sport.

“I'd probably just say my dad, honestly,” Podziemski says. “He didn't play basketball, so hearing his perspective from just a regular human's perspective on things has been really helpful. Not just hearing stuff basketball-related, but being able to hear things as a person and as a man.”

One of Podziemski’s future goals is to play for the Polish national team in the Olympics, as soon as next summer. First, he plans to bring some European flavor to the floor for the Warriors.

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