Australian basketballer Jock Landale has completed his first season in the NBA playing for the San Antonio Spurs.
The Olympic bronze medallist came off the bench mostly, but grew in confidence as the season went along and made the most of his opportunities.
The NBA is full of superstars and, obviously, the best basketballers on the planet – so who stood out most to Landale?
He’s named Philadelphia 76ers centre and MVP runner-up Joel Embiid as clearly his toughest opponent.
“Joel Embiid by a long way,” Landale told SEN Breakfast.
“I said to my dad a couple of weeks ago - I said he’s the only player I’ll ever admit that I’ll never have a chance against.
“He’s just on a different level physically, offensively, defensively – he’s a freak of nature.
“The other one that stands out like a sore thumb is Ja Morant who is a special, special player.
“Those guys I was like ‘wow this is completely different and unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced’.”
Landale is contracted with the Spurs for the 2022-2023 season and will hope to continue growing at the level, but says he doesn’t want to take the NBA lifestyle for granted.
“It’s not real life. It’s like this little fantasy world we all live in,” Landale said.
“For me, I’m not allowing myself to get used to it because it doesn’t last forever.
“All the five-star hotels and the best Michelin star restaurants and private jets … I caught myself out on the way home going through (airport) security check, and it was the first time I’d gone through one in over a year, and it was just like ‘this is terrible’.
“But I’m not going to let myself get used to it and that was a bit of a wake-up call.”
Landale’s deal with San Antonio for next season is a non-guaranteed deal, but if retained he is set to earn $1.56 million USD.