It has been quite a roller-coaster season so far for Warriors rookie James Wiseman. Luckily, he has had the support and counsel from experienced veterans like Draymond Green and Steph Curry. However, it is one of Wiseman's youngest teammates who might be able to impart some of the best and most relatable advice.
Warriors second-year guard Jordan Poole, despite being less than two years older than Wiseman, could in fact be the right guy to talk the rookie big man through his early NBA experience.
Poole was the 28th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, far from the pressure-packed position of being selected second overall like Wiseman. Yet expectations were very high for Poole. The 20-year-old's rookie season was filled with reasonable and expected struggles, with promising moments sprinkled in, very similar to that of the now 20-year-old Wiseman.
Poole, who has started to blossom and show serious promise over the last month, wants to make sure to share the same perspective and advice he was given with Wiseman.
"I continue to tell [Wiseman] 'Bro, there are so many good players that did not play their first couple years,'" Poole said on the latest episode of the "Dubs Talk" podcast. "Like I don't think JJ Redick played in Orlando in his first two years, he wasn't getting a jersey, he was on the bench. Even Kobe, I think Kobe didn't play his first two years because he was behind a vet. When you look at the grand scheme of things, and you can just put your head down and focus and lock in, everything will take care of itself over time.
"It is just delayed gratification if you grind now and grind now and work now, all the hard work you put in is going to show. There's no way that it won't."
It is sage advice from a guy who only was a couple of grades ahead of Wiseman in high school. But it is clear that this mindset has resonated with Poole.
Now that all of Poole's hard work is starting to pay off and he's seeing results, he can feel confident that the right perspective can make the biggest difference. The dynamic guard had a 10-game stretch in March in which he scored nearly 20 points per game, while shooting almost 50 percent from the field and over 41 percent from deep.
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The extra hours in the gym during the pandemic, and the determination to not let his struggles get the best of him, have made Poole a great source of knowledge for Wiseman.
"I keep telling him to keep pushing," Poole explained. "If it was easy, everybody would do it. And it's not. So here we are, continue to fight. You got a group of guys, a great group of guys, that want to see you succeed and are going to push you. We are just happy to have him. He's so talented and so gifted.
"After being the young guy for a year by myself, it's definitely good to give somebody else a little bit of advice."