Chet Holmgren looked much more muscular than many remembered him at the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Media Day on Monday.
There was already a ton of enthusiasm about how the former Gonzaga star would fare in his first actual season as a playing pro. An impressive Summer League showing reminded everyone why Holmgren was so highly-touted coming out of college.
At media day, though – Holmgren really got the hype train going.
One of the things fans noticed immediately was how much more muscular Holmgren looked than they last remembered.
Thunder starting 5. ⬇️
So yeah I’d say Chet Holmgren is gonna help with rebounding and rim protection.
— Brandon Rahbar (@BrandonRahbar) October 2, 2023
Chet Holmgren is known for being a rim protector, but also moves extremely well for a 7-footer when defending in space.
I asked him about his mindset and thought process when defending smaller, quicker players. pic.twitter.com/Rh5omGrPnC
— Nick Crain (@CrainNBA) October 2, 2023
Everybody on the Thunder seems really excited about Holmgren’s development.
“We’re excited to have Chet back,” Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said at Media Day.
“He’s a big-time competitor. At the end of the day, I think he just wants to win, when you add a guy like that to a group of players that want to win as well, most of the time, it goes well.
“And then for myself personally, just be one of the guys out there — Chet brings so many things to the game, block shots, he rebounds, he’s versatile, especially in today’s NBA, helps out a lot not only myself but the rest of the team.”
Lu Dort echoed that sentiment.
“It’ll be great to trust a good rim protector behind me that’s going to go and make plays,” he said.
“I know Chet, he’s not shying away around the rim, so that will be a great adding for our defense.”
This has been a busy summer. Between Holmgren putting on legit muscle and Gilgeous-Alexander’s girlfriend causing a major stir online, it has been one thing after another.
Big week for the Boston Celtics. https://t.co/TFE3NwEJYY
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 3, 2023
The Thunder have quietly become one of the NBA’s most interesting young teams.
Last season, this group took a major step forward.
Will Holmgren re-entering the fray turn the Thunder into a legit threat to go deep in the Western Conference playoffs? Time will tell.
A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.