The 2022-23 NBA season will not be Chet Holmgren’s Rookie of the Year campaign, as the former Gonzaga big man suffered a season-ending foot injury at Jamal Crawford’s Crawsover Pro-Am over the summer.
Holmgren’s injury caused quite the ruckus on social media, with many coming out of the woodwork to criticize Holmgren’s slender frame and/or his decision to participate in such an event.
Holmgren spoke to media for the first time post surgery on Thursday, and he responded to those who criticize NBA players for participating in pro-ams.
“There’s freedom of speech and criticism comes along with anything,” Holmgren told reporters, including Brandon Rahbar of the Daily Thunder. “Basketball players are going to play basketball. You have to feed the love of the game. I don’t want an injury like this to take away from that.”
Holmgren, as he has so often already in his young career, responded to criticism with grace – although it always has a glimmer of competitive fire.
The road to recovery is a long one for Holmgren, but he seems more than prepared to come back at the top of his game, motivated by the naysayers.
Andy hosts the Locked on Zags and Locked on College Basketball podcasts, and serves Locked On in a marketing/digital content creator role as well. He lives just outside Portland with his wife Jenna and dog, Tillie.