Although Jock Landale is only two seasons into his NBA career, he's seen a lot. Landale worked diligently to reach this stage and dealt with frustrations with his lack of playing time as a rookie with the San Antonio Spurs.
Landale wasn't handed a significant role under Gregg Popovich and had to learn how to accept that.
"You can't bottle up your frustration. We're competitive individuals and want to play as much as we can, but those things are kind of out of your control. These guys know what I bring to the table.
I've tried to move my mindset to more specific goals like body fat percentage or how much I can lift in the weight room. Goals that will lead to success and bring minutes on the court."
In other words, Landale had to have a veteran's mindset as a rookie, which isn't easy. The Australian big man averaged just 10.9 minutes with the Spurs but made the most of them, averaging 16.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per 36 minutes, while shooting 49.5 percent, 32.6 percent from three, 62.6 percent on two-pointers, and 59.7 percent true shooting all in his rookie season.
Landale was then roped into the Dejounte Murray trade to the Atlanta Hawks, only to be dealt once more to the Phoenix Suns. In the desert, Landale struggled to garner playing time yet again, as he was relegated to garbage time minutes, due to the Suns having Deandre Ayton, one of the better centers in the league.
Landale averaged 6.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 52.8 percent from the field, 62.1 percent on two-pointers, and 59.5 percent true shooting in just 14.2 minutes in his sophomore NBA season. Landale proved his value in the postseason, as he played better than Ayton and was willing to do whatever was asked of him by the Suns' coaching staff.
The Rockets rewarded Landale with a rather significant pay raise this summer, as he went from an annual salary of $1.5 million in 2022-23 to $8 million in 2023-24. After the four-year deal worth $32 million was finalized, Landale's first call came from one of his former Suns teammates, who also ironically played on Rockets' record-setting 2017-18 season: Chris Paul.
Houston Rockets center Jock Landale received strong words of encouragement from a former Houston Rockets standout.
"When I actually signed with Houston, he was the first call.
Within f-cking three minutes of the news breaking: Facetime with Chris Paul.
For everyone that gives CP a bad rap, and me having nothing but good experiences with him, that to me, defines CP in a nutshell.
He cared enough to give me a buzz when he was on vacation with his family in Cabo or something like that. He was like 'It gives me chills. You were telling me you wanted to bet on yourself and here it is paying off.'
That was the first call I got.
Not my parents. He took the time out of his holiday to give me a buzz. That's a Hall of Famer right there. That was sick."
This was class-personified by CP3, as he didn't exactly have the best experience with the Rockets, which he's made known to essentially anyone willing to listen. In spite of that, he was legitimately excited for his former teammate.
Landale could finally receive the role he's been clamoring for this season, as the Rockets have little depth at the center position behind Alperen Sengun.