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Warriors' Podziemski motivated by NBA rookie of the month slight

Warriors' Podziemski motivated by NBA rookie of the month slight originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – Warriors guard Brandin Podziemski was not too happy when the NBA announced the Western Conference Rookie of the Month voting for February and his name was not even among the players considered.

San Antonio Spurs star Victor Wembanyama won the honors for a second consecutive month, while Keyonte George from the Utah Jazz, Chet Holmgren from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Amen Thompson from the Houston Rockets all were nominees.

Podziemski understandably felt he at least deserved some recognition and said he is motivated by the slight.

“One hundred percent,” Podziemski said Tuesday. “I played every game in February; we went 11-3. Led our team in plus-minus, led all the rookies in plus-minus. All the stats that look at helping your team win, I led in those categories. That’s what matters most to me, and I think that’s what matters most to a team in term of winning.”

It’s hard to dispute Wembanyama winning the award. The 7-foot-4 center averaged 21.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.9 blocks in the 12 games he played in February.

Podziemski’s name, however, should have at least come up in the conversation. The No. 19 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft averaged 10.8 points on 43-percent shooting in 14 games while also pulling down 6.7 rebounds and dishing out 5.6 assists per night.

On Sunday, Podziemski took to social media and posted the results of the rookie of the month voting, adding a "taking notes" emoji.

“I should have at least been in the conversation for sure,” Podziemski said Tuesday.

There also was some good news for both Podziemski and the Warriors this week.

After the heralded rookie was held out of Sunday’s blowout loss to the Boston Celtics because of a lower back strain he suffered during last Thursday’s game against the New York Knicks, Podziemski was cleared by Golden State’s medical staff and was a full participant in practice Tuesday.

“It was hard,” Podziemski said of not playing against the Celtics. “I wanted to play, but it was a benefit for me just to kind of see things from a different perspective. It was definitely a benefit, but as a competitor you want to be out there to play.”

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