Warriors

Wiseman had NSFW reaction to first week playing in NBA

Warriors
James Wiseman, Serge Ibaka

James Wiseman's preparation for his rookie season with the Warriors was limited by a variety of factors, including an abbreviated offseason due to the pandemic and a training camp absence due to illness.

As the No. 2 overall pick told The Athletic's Anthony Slater, Wiseman's first week in the NBA came with a lot of learning and adjusting to the basketball IQ of each and every player on the court.

“Man, these players are f-----g smart,” Wiseman told Slater.

“These players are f-----g smart because they’re vets. They’ve played in the league for eight years. I’m a perfectionist, so if I have a bad game, I get really down. My teammates pick me back up. I be too hard on myself sometimes. The intelligence of these basketball players. Sometimes, y’all don’t see it in the games, but on rebounds, they be hooking me and stuff like that. Little tricks."

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Wiseman's athleticism had no problem transitioning to the NBA game, but young players often spend most of their time refining the mental aspects of the game in their first few seasons.

“Last night, when I guarded (Damian Lillard), he came off the screen and I was going full speed because I was trying to block his shot and he stopped right in my tracks and drew a foul,” Wiseman told Slater. “I was like, how the hell …? I was going super fast, he’s already in front of me and he stopped and got the foul. Little stuff like that. It’s the small details inside the game that makes players great.”

 

The rookie is averaging 11.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game so far this season and has shown an array of skills many hadn't seen in his brief college tape, as he's been able to hit 3-pointers at an impressive clip, and has shown a solid handle for a center.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr appreciates Wiseman's honesty when it comes to learning every day.

"You can tell that he’s not afraid to admit that things are going really fast for him right now," Kerr said to Bay Area reporters on Thursday. "I like that admission, I like that vulnerability because if you fake it, you’re never really going to get anywhere.

"This is a process that he's going to have to live with all year long, being up and down," Kerr added. "You can't really become consistent in this league in a couple of weeks. ... It's an important perspective for all of us to have, and James to have. It's going to take time."

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Draymond Green has eagerly been teaching Wiseman all the ins and outs of playing in the league, and the 19-year-old has been soaking up advice from across the Warriors' roster.

Given what he has shown so far through eight games, there already is a lot to be excited about with Wiseman. As he continues to become not just a better, but smarter basketball player overall within Kerr's system, the sky could be the limit for the rookie.