Golden State Warriors

James Wiseman smacks Gatorade cooler in frustration; Stephen Curry offers advice, recalls being benched for Acie Law

There’s a first time for everything, they say.

In the midst of the Warriors’ 115-113 comeback win against the Lakers Monday night, rookie center James Wiseman smacked a water cooler in frustration. There’s a first for ya.

The 19-year-old is mature beyond his years, meditating twice a day and having learned to speak Mandarin because of the NBA’s popularity in China. But on Monday, he had a bad night. The visible frustration was initially reported by Jovan Buha and confirmed by Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Here’s more from Slater, along with comment from coach Steve Kerr on Wiseman’s rough night. Slater explains right before this passage that Wiseman had five turnovers and five fouls in 13 minutes.

His night ended in the third quarter when he committed an out of control charge, rumbling into Marc Gasol on a fastbreak. After getting subbed out, Wiseman whacked the Gatorade cooler on his way to what would be his seat for the rest of the night.

“I loved that,” Kerr said. “That’s what you want. You don’t want somebody who doesn’t care. James cares. But he’s just a kid.”

The Athletic

Kerr loves to see the passion from Wiseman, and it’s easy understand why. Wiseman is clearly competitive and wants be a great NBA player, so with his natural skills, his success should be automatic. The only problem is that Wiseman is too young or inexperienced or both (he’s 19!) to understand that.

Enter superstar Stephen Curry.

Here’s what he had to say about Wiseman’s frustrations, largely drawing on his own background as a young player trying to prove himself, way before the championships, MVPs and other accomplishments.

Acie Law? Now that’s a classic line. Law had a 7-year career with a scoring average of 3.9 points per game but yes, it’s true, I remember: he used to play over Steph Curry.

And Curry never whacked the Gatorade cooler. He never showed any overt signs frustrations at all, as I recall. But the fire was burning inside. Wiseman’s whack isn’t a concern, but it is a bit odd that he had such a bad night when his team had such a great one. He still had some spectacular plays, however, and with the rookie having barely any experience in college or the pros, he’l have his highs and his lows.

And that’s why it’s great he has Curry. And Draymond Green, too. I should write another post about this, but instead I’ll leave you with it here: video from the TNT broadcast of Green instructing Wiseman. Two passionate big men with vastly different personalities, but passionate all the same.

(Photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

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