Kevin Durant knows as well as anybody the adjustment that it takes to fit into the Golden State Warriors’ one-of-a-kind system. Now he is trying to pass his knowledge on to the next generation.
Warriors rookie James Wiseman said this week that he regularly exchanges texts with Durant, who has offered him guidance on playing for the team.
“We talk about the system, how he was able to fit into the system here,” said Wiseman of the former NBA MVP, per Wes Goldberg of The Mercury News. “He just gave me a lot of advice.”
Goldberg notes that Wiseman met Durant as a teenager when he filmed a video for a Durant-backed startup.
The four-time scoring champion Durant played three seasons with the Warriors, netting three NBA Finals appearances and two championships. He had to learn how to integrate into the team’s free-flowing, three-point happy attack led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as well as their switch-heavy, positionless defense led by Draymond Green. The results speak for themselves though, as Durant was able to achieve basketball nirvana in Golden State.
As for Wiseman, he has had a shaky start to his NBA career. His 11.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game on 51.0 percent from the field seem decent. But Wiseman leaves a lot to be desired with his post-ups and screen-setting and often looks lost on the defensive end as well.
Durant’s relationship with the Dubs has not always been rosy since he left. But he at least seems to have a vested interest in Wiseman’s success for them.