Rookie center James Wiseman notched 14 points and seven rebounds in the Golden State Warriors’ loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. He only played the fourth quarter.
Wiseman was fully cleared to play, but Warriors head coach Steve Kerr benched him for the first three quarters for missing COVID-19 tests during the All-Star break.
“This was just a reaction to him missing the test and not being able to practice last night. That hurt us, and so that was the reason he did not play in the first half,” Kerr said postgame, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “I’m not going to go into any more detail than that because that’s private team business, but that was the reason.”
The 19-year-old acknowledged his mistakes after the loss and said it wouldn’t happen again.
“I made a huge mistake, but I most definitely will not do that again because I just got to make sure that I just be disciplined in terms of that,” he said. “I made sure that I apologized to coach and told him that I’m not going to do that again and make sure that I pay attention to little stuff like that, just get that done.”
Wiseman’s rookie campaign has been a roller coaster, to say the least. After being named a starter to begin the season, he lost the role to Kevon Looney after 16 games. He also sprained his wrist and missed most of February.
The Memphis product is averaging 11.9 points, six rebounds and 0.6 assists per game while shooting 52% from the field and 39.3% from deep.