James Wiseman, who the Warriors selected with the No. 2 pick in the draft, has many challenges ahead of him in his NBA career. During his introductory press conference Thursday, he accepted his first — speak Mandarin.
Without missing a beat, Wiseman, a 19-year-old who took classes to learn the language while growing up in Nashville, Tenn., told a socially-distanced audience that included owner Joe Lacob he’s excited to be in San Francisco and play for the Warriors.
Learning a second language is difficult, and Wiseman’s ability to pick up Mandarin bodes well for his ability to adapt to the NBA.
“I’m ready for everything and I’m just willing to come in and work and prepare and just be the best version of myself, and learn as much as possible and grow my game,” Wiseman said.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 19: Golden State Warriors draft pick number 2, center James Wiseman answers questions during a press conference on the Warriors introduction of their 2020 NBA overall draft picks at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
Both Wiseman and second-round draft pick Nico Mannion got a crash course on what it’s like to be part of the Warriors. They saw how general manager Bob Myers, on an otherwise horrific day for the franchise, went to great lengths to show them what the organization is all about.
After appearing near tears while discussing Klay Thompson’s devastating injury, Myers asked to shift the focus of the rest of the news conference to just Wiseman and Mannion.
Myers had already done his part right before the ceremony by blowing off a phone call from Stephen Curry.
“It’s a huge day and an exciting day for these young men and let’s celebrate that,” Myers said. “They’re coming to go to work. We’re going to need them. And it’s going to be fun. I’m excited to watch them grow and embrace them into our family and our culture. I think we’re lucky to have them and they’re lucky to have us.”
The familial theme was especially fitting in the case of the 19-year-old Mannion. The red-headed, 6-foot-3 guard from Arizona is now part of Warriors history. He and his father Pace just became the only father-and-son duo to be drafted by Golden State. Dad was the 43rd pick in 1983 and Nico was the 48th selection on Wednesday.
“My pops was drafted here, so when I heard the news I was coming here it was super emotional because that was in the back of my mind as well,” Mannion said.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 19: Golden State Warriors draft pick number 48th, guard Nico Mannion poses for photos worth his parents Pace Mannion and Gaia Mannion after the Warriors introduced their 2020 NBA overall draft picks during a press conference at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
As if by design, the rest of the 45-minute gathering was less an introduction …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports