In a social media video that went viral over the weekend, Sochan and fellow Spurs rookie Malaki Branham are shown participating in a word association game during this month's NBA summer league in Las Vegas.
Brantham, hoping Sochan would guess the phrase "triple-double," offered his teammate the hint: "Russell Westbrook get 'em a lot." Sochan immediately guessed "bricks," prompting Brantham to respond, "No, no, no!"
Sochan, who eventually guessed "triple-double," took to Twitter on Sunday to address the incident.
It's banter, I was not intending on being disrespectful 😂 heat of the moment, I was playing a game baby. https://t.co/BrEaoTBtxh— Jeremy Sochan (@JeremySochan) July 17, 2022
Sochan, 19, said in a later tweet that Westbrook has been his "idol since I started watching the NBA" and added that his dog's name is Russell -- an homage to the former NBA MVP.
Been one idol since I started watching the NBA and my dog is called Russell 😂 pic.twitter.com/OwGyNJu8Yu— Jeremy Sochan (@JeremySochan) July 17, 2022
Westbrook, 33, struggled through an uneven first season with the Lakers in 2021-22, averaging just 18.5 points while shooting 29.8% from 3-point range.
The nine-time All-Star guard has been outspoken about the widespread criticism and derision he has faced in recent seasons, saying earlier this year that mocking nicknames like "Westbrick" are "shaming my name, my legacy for my kids."
Westbrook parted ways last week with longtime agent Thad Foucher, who cited "irreconcilable differences" in a statement to ESPN and suggested that there was no longer full alignment with Westbrook about whether he should want to remain with the Lakers for the final season of his $47 million contract.
Sochan was selected by the Spurs with the ninth overall pick in this year's NBA draft after one season at Baylor, where he averaged 9.2 points per game and shot 58.5% from the floor and 29.6% from 3-point range.