James Wiseman and Jason Richardson gave Dub Nation a summer moment to enjoy
Golden State's summer block party at Thrive City @ Chase Center was a smash success, with Warriors fans getting a special treat from their past and future.
The Golden State Warriors reintroduced “Thrive City” their sprawling entertainment complex located at Chase Center to the die-hard Dub Nation faithful over the July 4th weekend. And it was hella fun.
My wife and I joined the festivities last Saturday (it was her first time at the new stadium). With a Warrior-less playoffs entering the championship round, I hoped the trip would give me some good vibes to counteract the pain of watching former nemesis Chris Paul make the Finals. I was aiming to meet Warriors’ legend Jason Richardson and play some NBA 2K with GSW’s pro eSports team Warriors Gaming Squad, but I wasn’t at peak excitement levels without the Dubs playing for a title. Yes, I know I’ve been spoiled recently… sigh.
And yet being out there on Warriors Ground for the first time post-quarantine with hundreds of Golden State supporters stoked my embers of fandom. I mean, everywhere I went there was a conversation worth eavesdropping: Folks were talking draft picks, Klay Thompson’s boating expeditions (more on that later), and Andrew Wiggins balling for team Canada. For a gold-blooded king like myself, it felt like home.
I even had the privilege of running into Marcus Thompson II the Oaktown legend/Author of Steph and KD’s biographies. And I can’t forget the bucket list item of meeting Warriors legend J-Rich. You wouldn’t believe how much of an impact those two guys have had on me coming up in East Oakland, whether I was studying journalism or trying to dunk on my friends at Mosswood.
(I also got to fulfill my dreams and play the 2K guys. They graciously laid the smackdown on me in hilarious fashion but I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE!)
Warriors announcer Bob Fitzgerald took the stage and interviewed J-Rich and last year’s #2 draft pick James Wiseman for about a half hour. Fitz’s charming demeanor was on full display, as he coaxed some insightful stories from the two Dubs that kept crowds of fans in rapt attention. ESPECIALLY when Wiseman talked about tagging along with Captain Klay on a two-man boat trip.
Halfway through the conversation, with J-Rich reminiscing about battling Michael Jordan, it reminded me how fortunate I am to live in the Bay Area and experience delightful moments with this franchise. (Which they owed me after the damage they did to my fanatical young spirit back in the day. I still wanna believe in Anthony Randolph, dammit!).
I stretched the iPhone up above the fray as high as I could to capture video of this fascinating interview; forgive the guerilla recording tactics. I hope you enjoy the videos as much as I enjoy making them. I haven’t found this full footage anywhere else online yet so I guess it’s a #HQexclusive.
Here’s some timestamps:
1:06 - Wiseman reveals what it was like hanging out with Klay on the Splash Bro’s boat.
03:28 - Fitz asks what Wiseman would name his dog (if he had one), and then jokes about how hard it is to find a nickname Wiseman likes.
05:11 - J-Rich shares the secret of NBA longevity with Wiseman.
06:21 - Wiseman reveals how his faith in God and family support system have led his rehab through his torn meniscus.
07:57 - Fitz asks how J-Rich stays so fit in retirement and asks about Wiseman’s go to Cheesecake Factory meal.
09:25 J-Rich advises Wiseman how to learn from the Warriors’ championship core.
11:23 - Both players describe their welcome to the NBA moment (featuring Michael Jordan and Giannis Antetokounmpo).
13:55 - Wiseman and J-Rich speak on the impact their mothers had on their work ethics. J-Rich goes on to talk about watching his sons coming up playing basketball now.
16:54 - Both players discuss the best part and the worst part about making the NBA.
20:00 - Fitz asks Wiseman what encouraged him to learn and speak Mandarin.
22:08 - Favorite superheroes and music artists?
24:50 - Talking FIBA and Olympic competition.
26:31 - J-Rich marvels at how the skill level has improved so dramatically in the current generation.
27:52 - Wiseman discusses what he’s learned from scouting pros, which leads to a discussion of battling MVP Nikola Jokic.
30:01 - Wiseman talks about learning his role and simplifying his game over the season.
30:49 - Fitz drops a great quote: “Good fans cheer after something great happens; Warrior fans cheer to make something great happen. You can feel it that they will good things into existence.” J-Rich speaks on the power of Dub Nation.
32:54 - Wiseman shares his love for Dub Nation.