When the San Antonio Spurs drafted Joshua Primo 12th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, I was stunned silent. At the time, I was taking part in a live stream of the draft with Project Spurs, a Spurs coverage site headed by Michael DeLeon and Paul Garcia.
"I'm gonna need a minute," said one of my co-hosts, Joe Garcia. "I'm assuming Spurs Twitter is going to burn down tonight after this pick," said another co-host, Rudy Campos. As for me, well, as I said -- I was speechless.
This year's draft was the first one in which I had really paid attention to all the top prospects. Of course, guys like Kai Jones, Alperen Sengun, and Jalen Johnson stood out to me as intriguing picks projected in the Spurs' range. I honestly didn't even know anything about Joshua Primo besides the fact he shares my first name.
Fast forward two months and, like many others, I feel foolish. Before I continue, yes, I know it was just one preseason game. I fully expect Primo to be a project more than an instant-impact player while Jones, Sengun, and Johnson have more prominent roles early on. Or maybe he won't. Either way, it's way too early to anoint him as the second coming of Tony Parker.
Still, there's just something special about watching Primo calmly settle into the NBA pace and handle it by going 7-of-8 from the field and scoring 17. "He didn't look fazed," said Dejounte Murray after the game. "He looked comfortable."
I'd say so.
Much of Primo's 17 points in 18 minutes came from the 3-point line, in which he shot 3-of-4, including a banker from the top of the key. When he wasn't doing that, he was finishing craftily at the hoop and playing solid defense throughout. By the end of the game, the AT&T Center was already chanting his name.
"It was surreal," Primo told the media after the game. Surreal or not, Joshua Primo is here, and his all-around game looks very promising so far.
It might be a little bit early to fully eat crow, but I've got my plate ready just in case.