Brandin Podziemski

Steph, CP3 look back on Podz epically beating them in preseason 1-on-1

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One of the more pleasant surprises for the Warriors this season has been the development of rookie guard Brandin Podziemski, though for members of the Golden State organization, his rise through the ranks was not shocking.

Between his competitive fire and willingness to play against anyone, Podziemski made his presence known early on last summer.

As detailed by Anthony Slater in The Athletic, the quick ascent of Podziemski from underrated college prospect to first-round draft pick to NBA starter was something Warriors brass thought was a distinct possibility during the offseason.

Slater described a pivotal stretch of the 2023 NBA offseason when the Warriors were holding practices at UCLA, where the young guard actually beat both Steph Curry and Chris Paul in 1-on-1 games.

“The Warriors had an extended stay in Los Angeles during the preseason,” Slater wrote. “They had some workouts on UCLA’s campus. After one practice, the guards set up a King of the Court style [1-on-1]. Score and stay. Podziemski was up against a group that included Curry and Chris Paul."

Slater detailed a conversation between Paul, Curry and Moses Moody reflecting on the moment:

“We were at UCLA, right?” Paul asked Moses Moody. “When BP beat us in ones.”

“Yes,” Moody responded, grinning at the memory. The rookie was giving it to two of the greatest to ever do it at the point guard position and alerting anyone within earshot of the damage.

“He did the Tiger [Woods] fist-pump,” Paul said, shaking his head.

“‘Let’s f—g go!'” Curry remembers him taunting. “That was hilarious.”

While general manager Mike Dunleavy and the Warriors brass knew that Podziemski could fit into coach Steve Kerr’s system, his surprising play this season coupled with his astute basketball intelligence has vaulted him into the conversation for the NBA All-Rookie Team in addition to a consistent spot in the Golden State rotation.

In his attempts to channel Draymond Green’s ferocity on defense, the rookie has put himself in the line of fire on multiple occasions, excelling at drawing charging fouls. With 27 on the season, he leads all other players with drawn charges.

The Warriors have struggled to find consistency this season on either side of the floor, with a leaky defense and sputtering offense behind another incredible shooting year for Steph Curry putting the team on the fringe of playoff contention.

Podziemski along with fellow rookie Trayce-Jackson Davis have provided some stability in recent weeks as the Warriors are 8-2 over their last 10 games.

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