Warriors' Steve Kerr on James Wiseman: 'We Can't Force His Development'

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 31, 2021

Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman (33) dribbles against the Utah Jazz during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr isn't looking to rush James Wiseman—the team's No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft—along in his rookie season.

"I just feel like James has to run his race and he can't run anyone else's race," Kerr said, per Wes Goldberg of the Mercury News. "We can't force his development." 

Wiseman, who turned 20 on Wednesday, is averaging 11.8 points and 5.9 rebounds through 33 appearances this season, though he has been limited to just 21.6 minutes per game due to a wrist injury.

While his on-court performance has shown that he was worth the team's top draft pick, he also had an off-court slight with the team earlier this season, when he was benched by Kerr after missing a COVID-19 test. In explaining his reasoning for benching him, Kerr shared his high hopes for Wiseman's career.

"You have to prove it in this league," Kerr said, per Nick Friedell of ESPN. "If you want to be Steph or Draymond, then you got to do what those guys did. And guess what? Both those guys were benched their rookie year. Both those guys had to fight. So even the superstar players have to earn their way in this league. So that's part of the deal for everybody. So that's pretty simple."