James Wiseman missed a COVID-19 test during the All-Star break and was forced to sit out of Wednesday’s practice, Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters in a video conference.
The 19-year-old’s status is in doubt for Thursday’s second-half opener against the Los Angeles Clippers.
“It was a mistake,” Kerr said. “He just forgot. It’s disappointing because he could have used the practice tonight and we needed him out there. It’s disappointing that he made the mistake.”
Kerr has been touting Wiseman’s immense potential since he’s so young, but now his youth is showing for another reason.
Kerr said Wiseman was in the Bay Area over the break. Teammate Eric Paschall said players who stayed locally were required to enter the team facility for daily tests, while Kerr said he had to overnight mail his tests while vacationing over the break.
The pandemic has brought on a host of new challenges and part of being an NBA player in these times includes extra appointments and attention to detail. From Kerr’s comments, it appears this was an avoidable episode for the young rookie.
Steph Curry said he hopes it turns into a teaching moment for Wiseman.
“It’s what you have to do,” Curry said. “For a rookie to come in, there’s obviously a lot of things thrown at you just in terms of what’s happening on the court. But now obviously all the protocols stuff and accountability over the break.
“But I think we all understand this is our job and we have things to do. When you don’t do them, it puts you behind a little bit. So hopefully he won’t be out long. I don’t know what the situation really is, to be honest. We all have to do our part to get through the season.”
Curry also shared the type of advice he can offer Wiseman.
“His kind of personality, he strives to be great and he has that sense that he’s supposed to be perfect all the time,” Curry said. “I think for him, one, whatever the situation is now, it’ll work itself out. He’ll get back with us as quickly as possible. But to hold himself accountable like every other guy in the locker room and do your job, show up with the right mindset every day.”
Kerr said Wiseman made the trip to Los Angeles with the team, but the league notified the Warriors on Wednesday that the center was ineligible to practice. The Clippers’ frontcourt includes players like Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac.
The No. 2 overall pick has had an up-and-down season, averaging 11.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while sitting out 11 games with a wrist injury and moving to a reserve role at one point. Considering this setback was preventable, this is a rough way for the rookie to start his second half.