Steph Curry is offering a bit of encouragement for a young Golden State Warriors teammate adjusting to life in the NBA.
The seven-time NBA All-Star opened up this week about the journey that rookie center James Wiseman is going through as he adjusts to life in the league as a teenager. To help offer some encouragement to his teammate, Curry shared a memory of what he was doing at the same age.
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Curry Cuts His Teammate Some Slack
Wiseman has been going through some tribulations in his first year in the NBA, moving in and out of the starting lineup and taking some public criticism for a misstep that cost him playing time earlier in the season. The center, who turned 20 on Wednesday, has also shown flashes of stellar play.
After a 116-102 win over the Bulls this week — a game in which Wiseman had 12 points, five rebounds, and four blocks — Curry offered a hilarious comparison to his own life and career at the same age. As the USA Today’s The Rookie Wire noted, Curry tried to cut his teammate some slack.
“I was searching for frat parties at Davidson right about now,” Curry said of his priorities at age 19. “We just lost to Maryland in the NCAA Tournament around this time in 2007. I was doing a lot of different things so this is an amazing opportunity, it’s a big responsibility. This is the beginning of a long, long career for him. He has gotta just embrace the process of what it means to establish himself as an NBA player.”
— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) March 29, 2021
Wiseman’s Role in the Future
The Warriors appear to have big plans for Wiseman going forward, reportedly making him off-limits at the recently passed trade deadline. Warriors general manager Bob Myers said after the deadline passed that the team is committed to working with Wiseman on his development, adding that the rookie big man has shown a willingness to put in the work necessary to improve.
“There are some things that we can help him (with) and there are some things he can help himself,” Myers said, via USA Today. “That’s the partnership we have with a player like that. It’s their buy-in, it’s our commitment. Then it culminates and when it culminates is different for everybody. We all want it now. I’m sure James wants it now. Very few players get it right away. So, we’ll see.”
The process of jumping to the NBA and learning the game hasn’t always been easy or smooth for Wiseman, especially under the more restrictive environment that the pandemic has brought. After the All-Star break, he missed a mandatory COVID-19 test and was forced to miss a practice. As a result, head coach Steve Kerr benched Wiseman for the first three quarters of the following game.
Kerr said they’d be running more Curry-Wiseman pick-and-rolls. They seem to be working. pic.twitter.com/qfaksiZzjS
— KNBR (@KNBR) March 30, 2021
But Kerr has also spoken highly of Wiseman and said his development will be a priority for the remainder of the season. Wiseman has since become a fixture of the starting lineup and more heavily involved in the offense. The Warriors remain at the edge of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.