Most of the great NBA men would have given up the ball. James Wiseman had just blocked a hooked shot from Mason Plumlee and the basketball fell into his arms. Wiseman isn't like most of the great NBA men, however.
The Warriors' rookie center, number 2 in the 2020 NBA draft, held the ball to itself to the opposite edge. It took him five dribbles and one euro step before the runway was free for a wild right-hander. The game, which played during Golden State's 116-106 win against the Pistons on Tuesday night, reminded Warriors head coach Steve Kerr of Buck's superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.
"He did a couple of big pieces where we got stops and points at the other end," Kerr told reporters after the game. "And of course his" Giannis game "was pretty impressive even in transition."
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Wiseman was in the middle of his quietest NBA game Tuesday night when he made this remarkable game. The 7-foot center of Memphis ended with six points and six rebounds against Detroit. But he started his NBA career hot with 19 and then 18 points in his first two games. He averages 1.5 blocks per game, and even with his size, Wiseman showed the outside shot that made him a tempting design by nailing five 3-pointers through four games.
Although Wiseman was a highly respected high school prospect, he was a bit of an NBA draft conundrum after playing just three games in Memphis before he was banned. That didn't stop Golden State taking him on with the second choice only after Georgia's Anthony Edwards joined the Timberwolves.
Wiseman missed training camp due to COVID-19 logs so he basically spotted himself on the NBA in real time. Sometimes this leads to "SportsCenter" top 10 worthy games like Tuesday's Dunk. Things won't always go smoothly for the Warriors this season if Klay Thompson is out for the year and Draymond Green isn't playing a game. But Wiseman is the future, and it looks brighter and brighter with every "Giannis game".
"He's clearly the focus of the future in terms of building this team with Steph (Curry) and Klay and Draymond, the veterans we have," Kerr said last week, according to The Athletic. "I can throw James in there now, he's a big part of this puzzle."