Jeremy Sochan, Sakuragi Hanamichi with a British accent? Popovich’s favorite 19-year-old Spurs rookie – NBA – Basketball

The 19-year-old is a self-proclaimed “citizen of the world” (citizen of the world), likes to visit museums everywhere, and has a maturity that does not match his age.

On draft night, he wore a lavender Indochino suit, said to have been inspired by Van Gogh, and invited Gregg Popovich to dinner later, saying he cared more regarding “defense” than scoring.

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Yep, it’s time to introduce the most interesting rookies in the NBA this year. Let’s welcome the Spurs rookie forward, Jeremy Sochan.

“I have a free spirit in my heart, a person who likes positive energy and is willing to improve himself off the field. I hope this is the way the fans see me,” Sochan said. “Traveling the world opens my eyes to different people, cultures, food and music, and helps me to be more open, creative and mature.”

Sochan believes that bringing those experiences to the field can help, too, joking that he, perhaps, is an “abnormal” 19-year-old, highlighting his distinctive personality traits.

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The 2022 draft will gather many stars of tomorrow, such as Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr. who have locked the top three picks, and Keegan Murray, Jaden Ivey, Bennedict Mathurin who are getting better and better. In the end, the Spurs selected Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan with the ninth pick, and many fans began to notice this special rookie, not just the bright hair color.

Sochan isn’t known for his scoring skills, but the Spurs are hoping he can build on that over time. After all, on the defensive end, he has done the best he can, and he can even be called the top defensive player this year.

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“Going out on the court, I’m going to be different than usual, and I’m going to be annoying,” Sochan said, noting that he’s good at pissing off opponents with his defense. “Right now I’m still figuring it out, but as the season progresses and I get older, I’m sure people will slowly notice me.”

The Spurs got off to a start that exceeded outside expectations, and their record once reached “5 wins and 3 losses.” However, due to Josh Primo’s off-court disturbances, the team’s morale suffered a certain degree of blow. Thankfully, Jeremy Sochan’s maturity on and off the court seems to make the team’s future less bleak, which can be regarded as consoling good news.

The key to Sochan’s excellent defense is his 7-foot wingspan, motor-like athleticism, and switching skills that can support all positions on the court. Perhaps because of this, Sochan’s favorite NBA player is Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. The two met for the first time on November 14, and the defending team won.

“The way he plays, the energy he has on the court, he’s going to turn opponents off,” Sochan said. “There are a lot of different types of players in the league, but Draymond is definitely one of those guys that I want to look up to.”

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“I like his fire, his intelligence on the court, and his ability to maintain a good basketball IQ and team spirit to play. This is what I learned from him, and I (look forward to) seeing it in myself.”

Further reading:Draymond Green “breaks” the Warriors’ salary dilemma? What four-year contract extensions for Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins mean

Due to Sochan’s performance in the preseason training camp, he quickly gained the respect of Popovich and was named the team’s starter for the 2022-23 season.

However, for a “Spurs rookie”, how difficult is this?

In 25 years, only one Spurs player has started as a rookie — and his name is Tim Duncan. In this way, Sochan became the first rookie player to start steadily following Duncan in 1997, averaging 24.1 minutes per game, contributing 7.4 points and 4.0 rebounds.

“When I saw the NBA logo, I really exclaimed ‘wow’, and then I realized that I can see it everywhere, which is crazy enough,” Sochan said of the memories of the beginning of the season.

“When I was at Baylor, I barely started, but since the preseason game (10/9 once morest the Pelicans), I’ve continued to start games, it’s really great. Incredible!”

Further reading:2020 Hall of Fame Special: “Stone Buddha” Tim Duncan

Even so, Popovich did not have high hopes for this year’s emerging Spurs, and even made a joke like “There should be no one here who will go to Las Vegas to bet on us to win the championship” on the media day.

In fact, the outside world’s expectations for the Spurs are not far behind. It is believed that they are focusing on the 2023 draft pick “French Spiderman” Victor Wembanyama—unexpectedly, they “spelled” a good start to the season and once ranked among the top eight in the Western Conference. .

Interestingly, Sochan said he wasn’t surprised by the results.

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