The Warriors’ plan to win now and build for the future seemed crazy to some last summer, but it went perfectly, as Golden State won it all this year behind veterans Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
Well, it was nearly perfect. The plan involved the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, center James Wiseman. But a torn MCL in his knee during his rookie campaign completely derailed Wiseman’s sophomore season. Wiseman didn’t play at all in 2021-22, and his teammates accomplished the ultimate goal, an NBA championship, without his help.
That had to be tough on the young man, who just turned 21 years old in March. Wiseman revealed to C.J. Holmes of the San Francisco Chronicle that he had to find ways to deal with the adversity, such as creating music, time with family and friends, and therapy.
“Just experience, going through adversity, it teaches you a lot,” Wiseman said. “It basically draws you closer to yourself. I’m not afraid to be myself anymore. I’m happy about everything I’ve gone through because it’s molded me into the person I am today. It’s strengthened me mentally, physically, in all aspects.”San Francisco Chronicle
Credit to Wiseman for making it through a rough patch that could have easily derailed his mental well-being. I definitely recommend reading Holmes’ entire article to learn more about Wiseman’s journey. Now, he finally appears healthy physically, too, with an eye-opening performance in the NBA Summer League.
As Golden State attempts to win additional NBA championships with their core players, Wiseman will have an opportunity to contribute. His time off the court has taught him more about being himself and his place in coach Steve Kerr’s motion offense, especially with a perfect role model to follow in starting center Kevon Looney.
So while Wiseman had to wade carefully through adversity, he still has the same opportunities in front of him. And it appears he’s in a better place mentally. As long as his knee holds up, as it did during his summer league appearance, Wiseman’s journey should pay off in a big way, both for him and for the Warriors.