When you’re a rookie in the NBA, you need thick skin. Veterans will often get on you, especially if they see potential. Houston Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate experienced this from former teammate P.J. Tucker in the short time that he was a Rocket this year.
“I remember P.J. (Tucker) yelling at me and telling me things, and I’m like, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’ It was moving so fast, and then by the end of the season, I’m yelling at the younger dudes and the guys that are coming in. Saying the same thing, and that’s when it clicked like, ‘Now I get it, I get what he’s trying to make me understand,'” Tate told ClutchPoints.
Tucker and Tate are different types of players, but their size and strength highlight similarities. They both stand around 6-foot-5 and play both forward positions. Defensively, neither are liabilities and can cause problems for any assignment. The young Rockets forward is a student of the game and often watches other players.
“I just pay attention to the game, of course, Draymond (Green) and P.J. (Tucker). Draymond reached out to me a few times this year, and P.J. was my vet here, and I learned so much defensively from him in the short time I got to spend with him. But a lot of the time, there’s just certain things you have to learn on the fly, just being out there,”
It appears the advice he received from veteran players around the league was helpful for Tate. The Rockets youngster finished the year by making the All-Rookie First Team, averaging 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists on the season. Tate took a step in the right direction in his rookie year, but he understands this is just the beginning for him as he plans to be around for a long time.