Warriors

Looney details main key for Wiseman's first season with Dubs

Warriors

Steve Kerr does not know who will start at center for the Warriors when they square off against Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 22.

The candidates are Kevon Looney, Marquese Chriss and James Wiseman, whom Golden State selected with the No. 2 overall pick in last month's NBA draft.

Wiseman only played in three college games last season at Memphis, and faces a steep learning curve as he adjusts to the NBA.

What is the main thing he needs to focus on during training camp and the Warriors' three preseason matchups in order to contribute immediately?

"For him, talent and athleticism are gonna take care of a lot of things," Looney told reporters Wednesday afternoon. "But just learning the terminology, learning the different schemes of defense is gonna be the hardest thing to pick up. That's gonna be the biggest key, especially since we're trying to win right away.

"There's gonna be a lot of pressure to play the right way and do the right things. But as long as he learns the basics, learns how to talk -- that's probably the biggest thing."

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Looney battled through some injuries early on his career and barely cracked the rotation. But he changed his diet, got his body right and ended up being a major contributor in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

 

The 24-year-old is a valuable defender, and sounds eager to impart some wisdom to Wiseman.

"As a center you gotta be the anchor on defense," Looney said. "Having Draymond [Green] back there is a big help. He's gonna walk him through a lot of things.

"Being able to talk the guards through the pick-and-roll, talk the guards through different actions is gonna be something that he's gonna have to learn.

"But he's a smart kid and he's gonna be able to pick it up really fast."

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The Warriors believe Wiseman has the ability to blossom into an All-Star and All-NBA level player. But he still is raw and there will be some growing pains throughout his development.

"Looney is going to be so much more advanced than James will be defensively," Kerr said Tuesday. "James has a lot to catch up on.

"But James' potential athletically is so dramatic that I imagine he'll have a chance to step in and help us because he's so athletic and dynamic. But there's a ton to learn, and he doesn't have the value of a summer league, a whole summer of workouts.

"A lot to catch up on in every respect."

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