James Wiseman didn’t make an appearance for the Golden State Warriors until the fourth quarter on Thursday night.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr did that intentionally, and had a pretty good reason why.
Wiseman missed a mandatory COVID-19 test during the All-Star break.
"I made a huge mistake and I most definitely will not do that again," Wiseman said after the game, via USA Today. "I made sure I apologized to coach. I was mad so I had to make sure I just went out there and played hard."
Kerr: ‘He responded exactly as I had hoped’
Wiseman stayed home in the Bay Area over the All-Star break last week. Just like every other player in the league, however, Wiseman was still required to take a daily coronavirus test.
One day during that break, however, Wiseman simply didn’t show up to the team facility for his test.
“It was a mistake,” Kerr said Wednesday, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “He just forgot. It’s disappointing because he could have used the practice tonight. And we needed him out there. So, it’s disappointing that he made the mistake.”
So the NBA didn’t let him practice with the team on Wednesday, and then cleared him to play against the Los Angeles Clippers hours before that game on Thursday.
Kerr, though, sat the reigning No. 2 overall pick for the first three quarters of that 130-104 loss.
When Wiseman did take the court, he shined. Wiseman played the entire fourth quarter at the Staples Center, and finished with 14 points and seven rebounds while shooting 6-of-7 from the field.
Kerr’s lesson, clearly, worked.
"You’ve got to take care of your business. Everything matters," Kerr said, via USA Today. "He responded exactly as I had hoped he would. He competed with energy and that bodes well."
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