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Warriors’ Brandin Podziemski Talks Rigorer Deal, Signature Sneaker, and Playing with Steph Curry

Warriors’ Brandin Podziemski Talks Rigorer Deal, Signature Sneaker, and Playing with Steph Curry

Brandin’s Rookie Season

Golden State Warriors' rising star Brandin Podziemski is gearing up for his sophomore season after an impressive rookie year that earned him a spot on the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team. Recognized for his dynamic play and versatility on the court, Podziemski has officially joined fellow NBA player Austin Reaves as Rigorer’s second signature athlete. This signing is expected to elevate both Podziemski's career and Rigorer's brand visibility, especially within the US. In an exclusive interview, Sole Retriever sat down with Brandin to discuss his exciting new partnership, the inspiration and design process behind his upcoming signature shoe, and what it’s been like playing alongside NBA legend Steph Curry.

Brandin Podziemski’s Photoshoot With RigorerBrandin Podziemski With Rigorer

Why Rigorer?

Brandin explained the mindset behind choosing Rigorer, highlighting the brand’s willingness to give him creative control, a unique opportunity to design his own signature model, and the connection to the Chinese fan base. “It just made sense. Rigorer was willing to give me an opportunity to create my own signature shoe, which I’ve always wanted,” he shared. “Being a Chinese-based company, it also aligns well with the large Chinese community and Warriors fans in San Francisco.” Brandin went on to mention that “the two most popular teams in China are us and the Lakers,” and how the Lakers’ Austin Reaves, who is also signed to Rigorer, told Brandin that he has experienced success with his signature line in both the US and Chinese markets, across a wide variety of fan demographics.

Relationship with Austin Reaves

One of the key influences in Brandin's decision was his relationship with fellow Rigorer athlete Austin Reaves. “I’ve talked to Austin a lot, especially since my coach, Steve Kerr, coached him last year for the USA team and often compared us,” Brandin said. “We played the Lakers many times this past year, and every time we did, I spoke with Austin about his shoe, what he likes, and how the people at Rigorer treat him…. Austin did a great job expressing his relationship with them and told me it was definitely something worth looking into if they came to me with something.” Austin also told Brandin it would be pretty cool if he joined him, saying, 'Hey, right now it’s just me, so it’d be nice to have someone else!'

Austin Reaves' Rigorer AR1 Valentine's DayAustin Reaves' Rigorer AR1 Valentine's Day Side ShotAustin Reaves' Rigorer AR1 Valentine's Day Lateral SideAustin Reaves' Rigorer AR1 Valentine's Day Back Shot

Austin Reaves' Rigorer AR1 Valentine‘s Day

Signature Sneaker: Designing The BP1

Brandin confirmed to us that his first signature sneaker with Rigorer will be a low top and will be named the BP1. We can also expect the first colorway to be inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge. “I took elements from shoes I’ve loved in the past, like Kobes and Currys, and combined them into this design,” he explained. “I took bits and bits of what I liked, whether it was how it felt, how it performed when switching directions, all that stuff.” He went on to say that, “The focus was on comfort and injury prevention above all, but I also wanted something versatile that could be worn both on and off the court, something you can just rock walking around.”

He was particularly impressed by Rigorer’s design team. “They nailed my vision right away. I expected to go through many iterations, but they got it right almost instantly… they were spot on,” he said. “The creative control they offered was incredible. I had a decent amount of input, focusing on what I liked in terms of fit, feel, and durability.” The BP1 will feature a signature logo, and while there’s no collaboration planned with Austin Reaves yet, Brandin hinted at future possibilities. “It would be cool to team up, especially when we’re in China together,” he said.

Brandin Podziemski On The Golden State Warriors

Designing for the Sneakerhead

Brandin is confident his sneaker will resonate with sneaker enthusiasts due to its versatile and detailed design. “The shoe will have hidden details that sneakerheads will appreciate, and it’s something you can wear anywhere both on and off the court; it’s multifaceted,” he explained. Brandin also noted that the popularity of a signature shoe is influenced by who the athlete is, adding, “The value of who I am as a person and a basketball player, I think that definitely holds some weight to it.”

Debut of the BP1

Brandin’s first signature sneaker with Rigorer will debut later in the year. In our interview, he hinted at some special Rigorer footwear for this year’s Summer League. “I’ll be rocking some Rigorer stuff on the court, either Austin Reaves’ shoe or some other stuff.” Brandin tells us that we should expect the first colorway of the BP1 to launch around the second or so month of the upcoming NBA season. “There’s gonna be a bunch of designs rolling out throughout the season based on different themes from my life, career, and what the season calls for,” he said.

Brandin Podziemski Celebrating With Warriors' Teammate Stephen Curry
Brandin Podziemski Celebrating With Warriors' Teammate Stephen Curry

Playing with Steph Curry

Playing alongside Steph Curry has been a transformative experience for Brandin. “Steph took me under his wing from day one. He was the first to call me and introduce himself,” Brandin recalled. “Our lockers are next to each other, so I get to learn from him every day… Being able to just call and FaceTime him, it’s awesome.” Brandin also mentioned that, “Watching how he maneuvers on the floor and how he plays is huge for me.” He went on to mention that Steph is “always straight up about what he thinks… whether it’s his process or his mindset going into things. And, that’s definitely helped me know what I want in my shoe, too.” Brandin says that “seeing Steph do crazy stuff on the court is, you know, it's unreal. So it's like, wow, but at the same time, I’m thinking, how can I contribute as well?”

Chinese Fans and Rigorer Connection

Brandin acknowledges the significance of the Chinese fan base as part of his decision in signing with Chinese-based Rigorer. “The Warriors and Lakers are the two most popular NBA teams in China.” He also told us how Austin Reaves mentioned to him how the support of Chinese fans has positively impacted sales and support for his signature line.

Brandin Podziemski With NBA Commisioner Adam Silver At NBA Draft
Brandin Podziemski With NBA Commisioner Adam Silver At NBA Draft

Relatability In The NBA

Brandin believes that both his and Austin Reaves' relatability significantly enhances their appeal. “A lot of people can relate to me and Austin, and even to Steph, because we are more physically relatable,” Brandin explained. “Sure, we’re taller than the average person, but we’re more relatable when it comes to our physical abilities. Our mindset, IQ, and physical skills are what allow us to be here and set us apart. It gives younger kids a sense of motivation, thinking, ‘I can be this tall and do the same things they’re doing.’ We’re not freakish athletes like LeBron, where kids might think, ‘I can’t do that.’ A lot of what we do, you can control through hard work and dedication.”

Brandin emphasized the importance of being role models who inspire young players to believe in their potential. “Kids can look at us and think, ‘I can do that too. I want to be like him.’ We’ve worked hard to be where we are. It’s about giving kids the aspirations and inspirations to be great,” he said.

Brandin Podziemski With Warriors Teammate Trayce Jackson-Davis
Brandin Podziemski With Warriors Teammate Trayce Jackson-Davis

Advice and Perspective

Brandin received invaluable advice from his coaches and teammates, which has shaped his outlook on his career. “My coach, Anthony Vereen, who was an assistant and player development coach last year, has a way of preaching valuable lessons. He always told me, ‘Would you worry about what happens in the middle if it all works out in the end?’ That really hit home for me because I tend to overanalyze and strive for perfection. He reminded me that success isn’t always a steady incline; there may be bumps in the road. But if it works out in the end, the struggles in the middle don’t matter,” Brandin reflected.

Brandin added, “Steph and Draymond have also been great at helping me put things into perspective about my rookie year and the opportunities I’ve had. Being a rookie at Golden State is unique because not everyone gets the chance I did. Even though our season didn’t end the way we wanted, their perspective helped me realize how much we improved and how I can contribute to even more success next year.”

The Future of Basketball Footwear and Overseas Brands

Brandin sees a trend towards players signing with smaller, non-American brands. He explained, “Unfortunately, a lot of the bigger companies offer deals that are mostly just for product and don’t necessarily involve getting your own signature shoe or having much input. I think you're going to see a lot of guys being approached by companies that aren't American-based. These companies know that if they can get a rising star to join them and that player takes off, becoming an All-Star or MVP, it helps the brand a lot. It's becoming more of a two-way street of success.”

Brandin Podziemski Sitting Down In Photoshoot With RigorerBrandin Podziemski Standing Up In Rigorer Photoshoot

Looking Ahead To The Upcoming NBA Season

Aside from his exciting new sneaker deal, fans can also expect big things from Brandin on the floor with the Warriors this season. “My goal this season is to win Most Improved Player.” Brandin Podziemski’s partnership with Rigorer marks an exciting new chapter in his career, blending his love for basketball and sneakers. With his first signature shoe on the horizon, fans are eager to see what he brings to the court and the sneaker world.

Massive thank you to Brandin for taking the time to sit down with us for this interview. Big thank you as well to Shawn from Rigorer and Jon from Brandin's team for helping make this happen!

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