The Warriors selected Eric Paschall in the 2019 NBA Draft when he was 22 years old, coming off a championship season at Villanova. He was the No. 41 overall pick.
On Nov. 4, the night he turned 23, Paschall dropped 34 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a win against the Blazers.
The rookie was puzzled about the criticism he heard about himself leading up to draft night.
"My age," Paschall told Logan Murdock. "It was just like, ‘He's old.' But I feel like that's kind of an advantage in some type of way. Like just being mature, knowing how to take care of your body. I could just go play right now. So, that's one thing that I was like, why does my age really matter if I feel like I'm that good?"
Paschall is that good. And his teammate Draymond Green thinks "too old" is "hilarious."
"There's this narrative of like, ‘This guy is too old.' That doesn't make sense," Green said. "How many guys are like LeBron James and great at 35? It's not realistic. If a guy can come in and help right away, it doesn't make sense to me."
"Draft these guys who are 18 or 19 and some of them look like f---ing idiots when they step on the NBA floor. Say, ‘Oh, we're going to bring this guy along, he has a lot of potential.' All potential means is somebody who ain't done s--t. Ain't proved nothing. I think it's stupid."
Green remembers hearing the same criticism about his age. He was the 35th pick in 2012.
"Like coming out of the draft, ‘He's a senior, he's the best he's going to be," said Green, repeating the belief that worked against him. "Yet they say you're in your prime at 27 to 32. But as a 22-year-old senior, you're the best that you're going to be?"
Green shook his head.
"That's why a lot of GMs get fired. And coaches."
Among rookies in the NBA, Paschall is third in scoring and fifth in rebounding. Even with Paschall's skills and maturity, Green expects the rookie's performances will get stronger.
"Right now, he's just scoring off raw talent," Green said Sunday night. "He really don't know how to play the NBA game. As he figures out more and more the NBA game, how to get fouled, he'll get better and better."