Eric Paschall turned 23 years old on Nov. 4.
How did he spend his birthday? By dropping 34 points and 13 rebounds on the Portland Trail Blazers in a 127-118 Warriors win, of course.
“That was one heck of a day for me,” Paschall recently told The Athletic's C.J. Holmes. “I just felt like it was perfect because it gave me a chance to show what I could really do and what I was really capable of in this league.
"I felt like that was my ‘Welcome to the NBA’ moment in a good way in terms of I was able to showcase everything and Coach (Steve) Kerr just let me rock. It was a lot of fun to be able to get the first win in Chase Center on my birthday.”
Check out the look on Paschall's face after this bucket. Just doesn't carry himself like a rookie pic.twitter.com/zBxZQEiAQT— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) November 5, 2019
Hahaha at Eric Paschall signaling he got hit on the arm after making this jumper. The confidence is ooooooozing pic.twitter.com/HOVI7fjPSn— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) November 5, 2019
The No. 41 overall pick in the 2019 draft had another 'Welcome to the NBA' moment one month earlier.
"In my first preseason game, I didn't expect to be the first person in off the bench," he said in June on Howard Beck's "The Full 48" podcast. "So coach Kerr's like, 'Eric!' He laughs in my face and just goes, 'You got AD.'
"So I have to guard AD, I have to guard LeBron."
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And Paschall more than held his own that night, and practically every other night all season. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound forward entered the NBA ready to contribute immediately. How?
Well, Villanova coach Jay Wright deserves a lot of credit.
"He makes kids tough. At the end of the day he’s going to make you work to be tough and I respect him," Paschall told Holmes. "Now that I’m in the NBA, if you’re soft, you’re going to be eaten alive, and that’s something you just have to deal with.
"That’s one thing with Coach Wright: He pushed me to not be soft. You always have to fight and keep pushing."