Wiseman, Green revealed as the two Warriors players diagnosed with Covid - will miss practices, first preseason game
Also: Curry talks about his future with the franchise
One day before the Golden State Warriors presesason scrimmages start yesterday, it became clear which of the team’s two players had tested positive for the Coronavirus. Citing personal health confidentiality rules, neither the team, nor reporters were forthcoming about the identity of either player - but given their notable absence from training camp, the peices of the puzzle finally came together yesterday afternoon.
Of course, the top concern is their health.
Basketball is fun and all, but the most important thing here is for both Green and Wiseman to return to full health. I’m no medical expert, but I spend enough time on the internet to worry about the long term impacts of this illness. While most people recover completely within weeks, symptoms can sometimes persist for months, or longer. with damage to the lungs, heart and brain.
Or you might never know you had it.
From a basketball perspective, this will be the first of what is likely to be frequent interuptions caused by a league attempting to play close to a full season in the midst of a full-on pandemic.
James Wiseman, the heralded big man that Golden State took with the number two overall pick in this year’s draft, will start the season playing catch up. While the diagnosis pushed team activities back a day (scrimmages will start today), for Wiseman and Green, it’s a longer, and more uncertain timeline. Here’s Anthony Slater of The Athletic, doing the math on these players’ return:
That sidelines the two players at least into the middle of this week and, considering the necessarily cautious approach to the process, I’ve been told not to expect either player back in the group setting until next week at the earliest, meaning that they’ll miss the first five practices and Saturday’s preseason opener.
Wiseman is projected to be an elite athlete, even by NBA standards, but after an abbreviated college career, he could have benefited quite a bit from these practices. As much as the Warriors have been careful to manage expectations, Wiseman fills an immedeate roster need - as soon as he’s able to fill it.
Without any of these preseason practices or training camp, Wiseman will miss a lot of the “new hire” process. Developing chemistry with the teammates will take time, no matter what, but now Wiseman must also play catch-up. Remember that this season features an abbreviated training camp/preseason which launches the Warriors into their first game exactly two weeks from today.
Even under the best of circumstances, this was going to be a period of learning and adjustment for Wiseman. These are not the best of circumstances.
Curry talks about the future
Switching gears completely, there were a couple of notable quotes from Stephen Curry yesterday. Still under contract for another two years, Curry is coming up on elegibility for a contract extension soon that would carry him into the twilight years of his career.
Curry is obviously worth every penny, so if he does take the maximum extension, no one will bat an eye. Ok, maybe a few eyes would bat, because if Curry did sign the full extension this offseason, it would put him under contract through 2024-25 season, which he would finish as a 37-year old, as per Marcus Thompson.
But within that linked article, some of the Curry’s quotes seem to indicate that Curry is comfortable with where the franchise is now (important), as well as where it is headed (equally important):
“We have conversations,” Curry said. “Everything’s on the table right now. I know just in terms of everything I’ve talked about being a Warrior and what the future holds. Obviously, I’m fully committed on what that is and understanding that I’ve got to do what’s right for me and the team. … So it’s a matter of just letting things kind of play out the way that they should. That’s kind of where we’re at right now.”
“We want to be in a situation where we’re competing for championships every single year,” Curry said. “I want to be a part of that and that’s the goal.”
That’s what we want too, Steph.