Chet Holmgren was one of the most touted youngsters coming into the league back in 2022. Unfortunately, an injury during the offseason derailed what initially should have been his rookie campaign.
In 2023, Holmgren is entering the season with far less hype. Between the arrival of Victor Wembanyama and all the summer drama around the league, the former Gonzaga standout has been able to maintain something of a low profile.
That said, Holmgren has been putting in serious work over the past few months. His body transformation speaks for itself, but he has also been polishing his defensive skills as well.
This week, during a preseason outing between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Milwaukee Bucks, Holmgren straight humbled Damian Lillard when the latter tried to come at him and test his rim-protecting abilities.
Chet blocked Dame ❌ pic.twitter.com/cfdFNSaKCb
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 18, 2023
Fans, understandably, had some strong reactions to Holmgren’s move.
They immediately flocked to social media to respond to what they just witnessed.
Chet said not today!!
— Love Me or Hate Me (@PandaSmush83) October 18, 2023
Rookie vs Veteran
— Emmanuel. (@T_ee_mex) October 18, 2023
I just remembered how he did Steph at his own camp when he was in high school just now lol
— spicychickenmaruchan (@sam_puloka) October 18, 2023
my 7 footer😍
— Zayne Da Costa (@X_SnakeZ) October 18, 2023
A rough week off the court for Lillard, one that saw him get exposed by his soon-to-be ex-wife in tawdry fashion, got a little worse for him on the court as well when he made the mistake of challenging Holmgren.
Time will tell what sort of battles these two will ultimately have when the regular season rolls around.
Miami Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill is being accused of something pretty messy: https://t.co/D9hZOpqCX3
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 18, 2023
Obviously everyone views Milwaukee as a title contender and OKC as a mediocre squad in the West, but the latter might surprise some fans in 2023.
That roster is looking low-key stacked.
Based on how good Holmgren has looked up to this point, Thunder fans will have a lot to be excited about next season.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.