The 19-year-old has been enjoying life since being drafted by the Spurs, spending time around the city and hanging out with his fellow draftees in anticipation of the upcoming season. Although an unfortunate case of COVID-19 didn't allow him to showcase his skills in the NBA Summer League, that didn't stop him from capturing attention from the NBA world on Sunday.
In a segment for Bleacher Report, Sochan and Malaki Branham played a game in which the goal is to get your teammate to guess the term on your sticky note as quickly as possible. As Sochan turned over a sticky note with the term "triple-doubles" written on it, Branham immediately suggested, "Russell Westbrook gets them a lot," to Jeremy.
"Bricks!" responded Sochan, leading to laughter and a quick denial from Branham. In watching the clip, it's easy to tell this was an innocent mistake from the rookie. He immediately covers his mouth as if the words just slipped out before he eventually correctly guesses the answer. He later took to Twitter to clear the air.
In fact, Sochan even revealed his dog is named after the 9-time NBA All-Star and that Russ has been his idol since he started watching the NBA.
Of course, Twitter overreacts to the viral moment
As is always the case on Twitter, many were quick to go on the attack and call out the "disrespect" Sochan showed in the segment. Others came to the defense of Sochan, calling the moment a harmless joke. In reality, it was neither. This was someone saying the first thought that came to his mind in a brief second in a fast-paced game. It wasn't a dig and it wasn't a joke. It wasn't even intentional.
When you look at the numbers, it's hard to blame Sochan for thinking about missed field goals when it comes to Westbrook. Since 2014-15, Westbrook has finished in the bottom 10 of total field goals missed by a player in eight of nine seasons. That includes three first-place finishes and two occasions in which he surpassed 900 missed attempts.
Still, other NBA players decided to take offense on Westbrook's behalf.
"The disrespect is getting out of hand," said Bobby Portis in response. "Wayyyy outta hand," agreed Larry Nance Jr. Fans, including several Russell stans, got in on the action as well.
"These new NBA rookies be hella disrespectful," said @Teekay10_7. "That much disrespect when you ain't played a single NBA game yet is wild," said @Mo_19XX.
Several fans of Westbrook were quick to say Russell has had a much better career than Sochan. Considering he's been in the league for 14 years while Sochan hasn't yet begun, that's not exactly a hot take.
Many iterations of the video clip have since been deleted from Twitter, possibly at the Spurs' request, but I'd like to think Westbrook has tougher skin than being offended by something like this. After all, if the recent rumblings are true that he could be headed to San Antonio at least on a temporary basis, taking something like this so seriously could become very awkward.
Westbrook has gotten used to being slandered for years by now. This is nothing.