Brad Wanamaker's struggles through the end of the first half of the Warriors' season have led to his ouster from the rotation, as younger guards Nico Mannion and Jordan Poole will be taking the lion's share of minutes among the reserve guards going forward.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who himself thrived as a role player during his 15-year NBA playing career, understands the ebbs and flows of being a reserve in the league, and spoke about his conversations with Wanamaker regarding adjustments to the rotation.
"I love Brad, I feel for him that he's not going to be in the rotation right now," Kerr told reporters on Friday. "But I told him what I tell all my players, which is the same thing my coaches told me when I was in that boat over and over again during my career, and that is that when you stay ready and you stay conditioned both physically and mentally, the game has a way of coming back around to you.
"A big part of being a pro in this league is to weather the storm when you're not in the rotation and stay prepared so that when your time does come, you're ready."
Kerr logged 910 games over his decade and a half in the NBA as a player, but started in just 30. He understands what role players have to do in order to work their way back into earning meaningful minutes.
"Guys can make careers out of that, I know I did," Kerr said. "My career lasted a lot longer than it should have based on just staying ready and being a good teammate when I wasn't in the rotation, all that stuff.
"It's a very difficult role to be expected to come in and produce when you haven't played in five or six games, but that's the NBA. Something is gonna happen, and those guys, Brad, Mychal Mulder, whoever else is sort of out of the equation, their time is gonna come back around."
Kent Bazemore came out of a college a year after Wanamaker, and also praised the veteran's professionalism and knows he isn't going to get complacent as he gets fewer minutes.
"He's a guy much like myself, we understand the ins and outs and how long the season is, staying patient and keeping your mind in that space of staying ready and knowing that your best basketball is ahead of you, and staying there and continuing to put in the work," Bazemore told reporters on a conference call Saturday. "The last thing you want to do is make it about the guy in front of you, it's never about that and as a great teammate, he's been on some great teams, he understands how the locker room works and that's not the kind of energy you want to instill in the locker room, regardless of what's happened. So we just take it on the chin man, continue to push forward, continue to work hard and just lead the way, show these young guys you can put in the work."
Wanamaker remains a solid and engaged defender, and as long as his offense improves and he stays ready, the veteran shouldn't have to wait too long to earn an opportunity.