James Wiseman understands how lucky he is to have landed with the Warriors.
The 20-year-old hasn't taken the court since injuring his meniscus last April. While the young center has spent the last eight months rehabbing, he also has been soaking up the wisdom from his surefire Hall of Fame teammates. Wiseman has had a rehab partner in Klay Thompson, a wise man to follow in Andre Iguodala, and a superstar in Steph Curry, who constantly is preaching to Wiseman on the price of greatness.
Wiseman has tried to follow Thompson's example as the two grind through rehab together.
“Really, just make sure that every rep is game-like,” Wiseman told Sports Illustrated's Howard Beck of what he has learned from Thompson. “Every rep you do, go as hard as you can, because when you get in the game, it’s gonna be easier. So, creating a great habit, never creating bad habits when you work out.”
Curry's lessons are all about the process of becoming the best version of yourself.
“He told me, ‘Make sure you embrace the monotony of everyday life, in terms of the NBA,’” Wiseman told Beck. “Every day, you have to embrace the fact you got to wake up every morning and do the same routine: shoot around, play the game, same thing over and over. Even in the offseason, you got to work out every day. ...That is what makes a difference.”
As for Iguodala, who returned to the Warriors this past offseason, he'll often text Wiseman videos of Hall of Fame centers from Arvydas Sabonis to Hakeem Olajuwon.
“You’re not just soaking up the game right now, but you’re soaking up the history of the game,” Iguodala told Beck. “And that’s a part of being a master at your craft. You got to know the history of it, and you have to have a respect for every era.”
Wiseman understands the lessons his legendary teammates are trying to teach him early in his NBA career.
"Making sure that I expand my game,” Wiseman told Beck. “You know, being 20 years old, I still got a lot to learn. But just like the little details is what matters."
The Warriors are hopeful Wiseman will absorb these critical lessons and be an integral part of their present and future once he makes his return to the court.