James Wiseman was the Warriors' No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft. During the 2020-21 season, the young center flashed some potential as a big man with immense athleticism and some floor spacing ability.
Even though there were some positive flashes from James Wiseman last season, his inexperience also showed at times. He still has a lot of work ahead of him to reach the limits of his potential.
The Golden State Warriors are currently implementing a "win and develop" plan, and it was previously reported that they are not initiating any trade talks on their young players. They are obviously winning now and are contenders. As for the development plan, Wiseman's growth will be crucial to its success.
Andre Iguodala is certainly doing his part to ensure that James Wiseman can develop as intended and become a tremendous big man in the future. A recent article by Howard Beck has revealed that Andre Iguodala texts James Wiseman clips of players like Hakeem Olajuwon and Chris Webber to tutor him.
Every so often, Wiseman’s phone will buzz with the ghosts of Big Men Past: Hakeem Olajuwon, Arvydas Sabonis, Chris Webber, Rik Smits, Vlade Divac. They arrive in grainy YouTube clips, via text messages from Andre Iguodala.
Olajuwon’s footwork was legendary. Sabonis and Divac were among the best-passing centers of all time. Webber was brilliant as both a playmaker and scorer, inside and out. Smits had a killer right-hook shot.
“You’re not just soaking up the game right now, but you’re soaking up the history of the game,” Iguodala says of his tutelage of Wiseman. “And that’s a part of being a master at your craft. You got to know the history of it, and you have to have a respect for every era.”
There is no question that watching game film of other dominant big men can help James Wiseman figure out what he needs to work on to reach that level. A lot of star big men take some time to become great, so perhaps this is the case here.
The Golden State Warriors are hoping that James Wiseman can become one of the faces of their team after their veterans retire. Hopefully, he is able to fulfill those expectations, and become a legendary big man like the players he's watching.