Kevin Garnett is, without a doubt, one of the best basketball mentors around. Today’s NBA players know it, and Steve Kerr knows it. That’s why, if the opportunity presents itself, he’s ready to entrust him with the development of James Wiseman — the Warriors‘ latest diamond in the rough.
I think KG is someone I’ve always admired, and if I ever get the chance to connect the two of them, I would do that. KG was one of the best defensive players in the league. Like James, he came into the NBA without any experience, basically. He went straight from high school, James basically went straight from high school — he only played three college games. That’d be a good guy to connect him with.Steve Kerr, NBC Sports
It turns out, Wiseman agrees with his coach. The Dubs rookie modeled his game after The Big Ticket, and his Twitter handle @BigTicket_JW is a tribute to a Hall of Fame power forward. Having the opportunity to work with his idol would be a dream come true for a 19-year-old center, and it’s something he would sign off on today.
I actually would choose KG, too. KG was one of my favorite players. I’d just ask him the tenacity to the game, the approach, how he approached the game, how he approached each game. How did he get better as a rookie coming into the league, because he came straight out of high school too.James Wiseman, NBC Sports
Both Wiseman and Garnett came into the NBA as raw big men with untapped potential, at nearly identical sizes. They both made their professional debuts at the age of 19, displaying incredible physical tools, soft touch, and natural instincts for the game in limited minutes played as young prospects.
Garnett, the No. 5 pick in the ’95 draft, averaged 10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game in 28.7 minutes on the floor. Twelve games into his rookie year, Wiseman is averaging 11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game while playing 21.3 minutes a night. He’s had his ups and downs over the span, but a consensus remains that the No.2 pick of the ’20 NBA Draft is far from reaching his peak powers.
He sure would get there a lot faster with KG as his mentor. That’s why Steve Kerr should set up the meeting. It’s in the best interest of all parties involved.