Warriors

Wiseman admits mental struggles of season-ending injury

Warriors
James Wiseman

No matter how frustrating James Wiseman's rookie season for the Warriors was at times, he still was living his dream at only 19 years old. 

Wiseman entered the NBA after playing only three games in college. He finally was playing basketball on a nightly basis. All he wanted to do was hoop. 

Then, it all came crashing down on April 10. 

As he rose for a dunk against the Houston Rockets, Wiseman meant to use his right hand but the lefty rose with his strong hand at an awkward angle. He was blocked by Kenyon Martin Jr. in the second quarter, and came down at an even more awkward angle. It was later determined Wiseman sustained a season-ending right meniscus injury. 

"It's kind of hard, I was really down," Wiseman said in his latest video diary for The Undefeated. "I can say that I was crying a lot. Yeah, it was bad. My mom had to actually tell me everything was gonna be all right.

"But I got a great family support system. Really, just me mentally, I'm very strong as a human being. So, I just got through it naturally."

Hands down, the hardest part of Wiseman's injury was being hit with the reality he wouldn't play for an extended period of time once again. 

"I just love the game of basketball so much that I couldn't even fathom not playing with my teammates," Wiseman said. "That kind of took a lot out of me."

 

Wiseman wound up playing 39 games as a rookie, starting 27. He averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. 

RELATED: What Wiseman can learn from Poole's second-year improvement

Coming into the NBA as the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft, everything didn't quite go as planned in Wiseman's rookie year. He dealt with a handful of injuries, as well as COVID-19 issues, and learned a whole lot of lessons along the way. 

There's no doubting Wiseman's talents, though, and the Warriors know he could be a huge part of their present and future as they look to become contenders again as soon as next season.