Despite Earning More Than Brandin Podziemski, Klay Thompson Hit Warriors Rookie With ‘Pocket Watching’ Claim

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

The Golden State Warriors‘ ability to draft high-impact guards came to the fore again this season with rookie Brandin Podziemski‘s ascension. Courtesy of his impressive performance, of 9.9 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game, the first-round pick even pushed Klay Thompson out of the Warriors’ starting lineup in their last game before the All-Star break and has closed fourth quarters ahead of the veteran guard.

Podziemski isn’t apprehensive about challenging the Warriors’ superstars despite being a rookie. A report by The Athletic revealed that the rookie guard arranged a quiz competition that involved money. Thompson was hesitant to participate, which prompted Podziemski to remind him that he was participating in the quiz despite earning $4.05 million a year, $39.86 Million less than Klay’s salary for the 2023-24 season.

The rookie’s jibe did not sit well with the four-time NBA champion, who told him to stop “pocket-watching.”

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Podziemski’s lack of fear in calling out Thompson for refusing to participate in the quiz despite the $39.86 million difference in their salaries showcases his mentality. He believed in his ability to win the quiz, despite money being at stake, and wasn’t willing to take no for an answer from the 34-year-old.

Podziemski’s confidence is commendable and indicates why the Warriors trust him to close games despite his rookie status.

Brandin Podziemski is not afraid to call out Draymond Green

Despite Earning  More Than Brandin Podziemski, Klay Thompson Hit Warriors Rookie With ‘Pocket Watching’ Claim
Credits: USA Today Sports

Draymond Green has been the vocal and emotional leader of the Warriors since his sophomore season. The veteran forward has gotten into a public spat with teammates and is often the first to call them out if he spots them lacking on the court. While most rookies only listen to what Green says, Podziemski isn’t afraid to call out the veteran forward and give him a taste of his medicine.

Before the Warriors’ second game of the season, the team had set up a scrimmage between the starters and the rotation players. Green and Podziemski were on the same team and lost the game after the veteran turned the ball over. The rookie immediately criticized the veteran and left him astonished. However, Green took it in stride, saying,

“I was like, ‘OK, cool, you got it. No problem. Here we are playing a pick-up game, a game to get me ready and he’s yelling at me. That to me said a whole lot. I was like, ‘You know what? No problem. But make sure you speak up like that all the time.’”

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The Warriors are encouraging Podziemski’s leadership and are benefitting from it. The team has a history of turning guards into superstars, and he could be the latest to join the ranks of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole in leading the franchise to glory.

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About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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