Warriors Owner Compares James Wiseman’s Slow Start to Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett
The Golden State Warriors drafted James Wiseman last season with their #2 overall pick. Some would say it was a gamble because he had played only three college basketball games. But the Warriors kept their faith in his potential and drafted him.
Unfortunately, injury issues continued to plague him in the NBA, and he played only 39 games. When he was on the court, he showed promise at times, but one could see that he is still raw and needs more time. As a result impatient and reactionary fans started discussing trades for him.
But Warriors owner Joe Lacob has quashed these discussions. In fact, he also compared Wiseman’s slow start to his career to Hall of Famers Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett, who also needed a few years to settle in.
He said, “I would have liked to see him play more games at the end. He would have gotten better. But big men at 19 years old, take a look at history. Kevin Garnett, I can name you all kinds of players.”
“If you use your eyes and look at what you saw overall — look at some of the potential. Because when you draft 19-year-olds, you’re drafting on potential. Nobody’s coming in and dominating at 19 years old. Nobody. Even Kobe Bryant took until Year 3 and he wasn’t even a center. These expectations are too high.”
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Similar to Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett, can James Wiseman if the Warriors give him time?
Both Bryant and Garnett needed a few seasons for them to find their feet. Kobe started as a sixth man for the Lakers and struggled in the start. But he just worked harder and eventually became one of the greatest players of all time. Similarly, KG was also a fringe starter when he first arrived in Minnesota. But he kept delivering when he got the chance and eventually became one of the best power forwards of all-time.
Can Wiseman reach similar levels? It’s too early to tell. But there is no doubt about the hard work he is putting in. Wiseman arrived in Golden State as a paint scorer. But he worked on his jump shot in the off-season and the results were seen when he played. If he continues to put in the effort, he is destined for greatness.
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