Warriors

Steph, Draymond's contrasting leadership clear to Wiseman

Warriors

James Wiseman has been a Warrior for fewer than 24 hours, but he already has seen how different the approaches are from Golden State's two on-court leaders.

Draymond Green and Steph Curry both reached out to Wiseman after the Warriors selected the former Memphis center with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night. Green and Curry publicly welcomed Wiseman on social media, but their outreach to Wiseman behind the scenes served as a tidy encapsulation of their contrasting leadership styles.

"As soon as I got drafted, Draymond said, 'Hey rook, as soon as you get drafted, ain't nobody not gonna notice that you got drafted the next day, so be ready to work,' " Wiseman recalled, sitting alongside second-round pick Nico Mannion, in an introductory press conference outside of Chase Center on Thursday. "And Steph actually texted and gave me some words of encouragement."

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Green told WNBA legend Candace Parker in May that for all of Green's volume in the locker room, Curry is the team's true leader because of his selfless nature. Wiseman got a taste of Curry's leadership in high school, attending the two-time MVP's select camp two years ago.

 

"It was a great moment, just going to that camp and learning a lot of intangibles that he taught me," Wiseman said of learning from Curry, whom he called "my guy" in a virtual press conference with reporters Wednesday night. " ... Really, he just gave me advice. Gave all the campers advice. [He said,] 'Stay dedicated to the game, and don't take it for granted.' So I learned a lot from him just from that camp."

Playing with Green is going to be a bit different.

Warriors TV play-by-play broadcast Bob Fitzgerald jokingly warned Wiseman at the press conference that Green is known to, well, loudly demand a lot of his teammates. Bob Myers, Golden State's general manager and president of basketball operations, implored the rookies that it comes with the territory of playing -- and working -- with Green.

"James, you've got to understand," Myers said. "When he yells at you, or Nico, he still loves you. He wants to win so bad. Don't take it personally. He's yelled at me. I don't think he's yelled at [CEO Joe Lacob]. He's yelled at [coach Steve Kerr] for sure. He's yelled at all of our teammates. He's yelled at Steph. He may have yelled at the media. That's just who he is, but he wins. So you want to learn anything from that guy, he's a winner."

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Myers told reporters after the draft Wednesday night that Green is the ideal mentor for Wiseman in order to develop his defensive versatility. Green can play bigger (and smaller) than his 6-foot-6 frame on defense, and he's capable of switching on to centers and wings alike.

Wiseman, listed at 7-1 and 247 pounds, needs to be able to switch on to players on the perimeter so smaller lineups don't play him off the floor. Myers and the Warriors are confident Wiseman is in the right place to learn, and that he has the right frame of mind.

"I can't wait to play," Wiseman said. "I can't wait to work, and I can't wait to have fun with my teammates."

Green and Curry are going to do what they can to bring the best out of him, and they're going to go about it differently when training camp begins Dec. 1. After a day he described as a "whirlwind," at least that much is clear.