This article is not about counting stats or advanced analytics because that already exists. This article serves as the beginning of an origin story for the 9th overall pick, Jeremy Sochan. Every hero goes through growing pains, but the journey to fulfillment is a quest that we, as observers, are privileged to relish. The question is how high the ceiling is for Sochan while understanding his undeniable desire to maximize his talent. There is precedent for this train of thought, and we've seen it across the league and in our favorite Marvel movies.
Tony Stark was a man with massive resources, but he still hadn't reached his destiny. His destiny was to become Iron Man, just like the players who are bound to make it to the NBA. But, the journey continued for Stark as he continued to improve his Iron Man suits whenever he discovered a weakness in their design. I liken this to the players who continue to craft their game to build multiple skills to make themselves upper-echelon assets with a chance at eternal glory.
We've seen this storyline before
Kawhi Leonard is a sore spot for Spurs fans, but I call on my recollection of his early years to compare what I see in Sochan. When Leonard arrived, he showed a strong desire to win, not just with his words but with his effort on the floor. The realization that he could shoot the three-ball better than expected in his first year was a pleasant surprise, but how he fought for loose balls and rebounds and hassled great players as a defender was a revelation. Leonard fulfilled his destiny by becoming the premiere two-way defender in the league.
Think back to the NBA's youngest version of Giannis Antetokounmpo, when he was 19-years-old. He was incredibly raw and had not yet put on the muscle you see today, yet he was determined to make an impact. Giannis played with a relentless fervor, the kind you only see from athletes driven to succeed. And succeed, he did. Ten years into his career, Giannis has improved every aspect of his game, making him one of the most physically dominant and skilled players in the NBA.
In his short time in the professional ranks, fans have seen that same determination from Jeremy Sochan. He is eager to learn and improve his game to be a constant threat. He came into the league as a defender with a sprinkle of playmaking ability but has already shown a knack for scoring. His passing ability was unheralded. And his change to a one-hand shooting motion at the foul line in his first year shows the selflessness the Spurs are known for coveting on the roster. Sochan also had a run-in with an infamous enforcer, Markieff Morris, and refused to back down. You can add fearless to his rèsumè.
So, think about the countless hero stories you have read, watched on television, or played in games. There is always something about them that differentiates the main character from the rest of the supporting cast. Usually, that unique factor is a desire to be extraordinary. It's something you can see in people early, and Sochan's early returns suggest he may very well be the stylish hero the Spurs need.