James Wiseman: 7 Ways The 7-Footer Is Different
James Wiseman, the talented Golden State Warriors center who is just off his rookie season in the NBA, has yet to prove he is an elite big man in the League — but he has definitely shown throughout his short basketball career so far, that he is different: on and off the court.
We know you’re curious to learn why J-Wise is not like the others, aren’t you?
So we present The 7 Ways The 7-footer Is Different from your average NBA rookie, sophomore — or actually from any NBA player out there, and even from an everyday person in general.
Make sure to stick to the end of this video to find out — which former NBA superstars and Hall of Famers endorse James Wiseman, what are some of his hidden off-court skills, and how he compares to both his rookie class, and this year’s rookie class in terms of jumping right into the NBA action. Let’s go!
James Wiseman, nicknamed J-Dub, J-Wise and Big Ticket among all, was born on March 31, 2001 in Nashville, Tennessee. He stands 7 feet 1 inch tall, weighs 240 pounds and currently represents the Golden State Warriors in the NBA, who picked him second overall in the 2020 NBA Draft.
James attended The Ensworth School in Nashville and East High School in Memphis, and he went to college at the University of Memphis, playing for the Memphis Tigers.
Everything sounds great, right? Well, kind of!
Just wait and see why James Wiseman’s path to success is actually different!
And we kick off our list with the #7 thing that explains why J-Dub is not your average 7-footer.
See, James was actually coached by a former NBA superstar — the four-time All-Star and a two-time All-NBA First Team member Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. On top of that, he got coached by Penny not just in his high school years, but also in college! Now how is that possible? And how has it been controversial, perhaps? Listen up.
Hardaway was coaching at Memphis East High School, and Wiseman decided to transfer to it from The Ensworth School in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. It was the first time James followed Penny — and the first time he stumbled.
Upon the transfer, Wiseman was ruled ineligible by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, because of an “athletic coaching link” that existed between him and Hardaway. And the reason was that the previous Summer, Wiseman joined Team Penny, on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit.
The ineligibility was a nerve wrecking event that stretched into December, but eventually J-Wise was cleared to play — and as a high school senior, he was a consensus five-star recruit. He was truly on fire, and most recruiting services ranked him number one in the 2019 class. James claimed multiple National Player of the Year awards and played in the McDonald’s All-American Game after his final high school season.
But remember we said that James Wiseman stumbled another time? And believe it or not that was when he followed Penny Hardaway yet again — this time, to college.
Now this case has almost cost Wiseman a college career, or shall we say it did?
Just as J-Dub was getting ready to hoop for the Tigers, something unexpected happened: the NCAA ruled him ineligible to play for Memphis. The University of Memphis stated that head coach Penny Hardaway had paid for $11,500 in moving expenses to help James and his family relocate to the city of Memphis in 2017. According to Wiseman’s lawyer, the NCAA deemed that Hardaway, a Memphis alumnus, had acted as a booster.
In a few weeks though, the NCAA ruled that Wiseman would be eligible to return after serving a 12-game suspension if he donated $11,500 to a charity of his choice.
Nevertheless, the next month, after missing seven games due to suspension, Wiseman announced that he would leave Memphis, hire an agent and prepare for the 2020 NBA Draft, effectively ending his college career.
James played just 3 games at Memphis. But while his time was limited to 69 total minutes of action — opponent teams shot only 33% when Wiseman was on the court, and he made a good amount of eye opening plays, altering and blocking shots
J-Wise was undoubtedly one of the highest-rated prospects in his class, according to draft analysts — and was the favourite to be the number 1 pick.
Whoa! Two ineligibilities, academic runs cut short — and still a top prospect? We told ya James Wiseman was on to something!
Which brings us to our #6 thing on the list of 7 ways why the 7-footer is different.
Let us take you back to Oakland, California on this one, January 27, 2021 — when the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves were in town to take on the Golden State Warriors. Well, that was actually in San Francisco, at the newly opened Chase Center — no fans due to COVID restrictions, but that didn’t stop James Wiseman from putting on a show.
You know you got a little something to prove to the team that didn’t draft you first! The Wolves had the #1 pick at the 2020 NBA Draft, and skipped James Wiseman to draft Anthony Edwards instead.
Wiseman said later that he wasn’t motivated by that factor — but boy, did he ball out!
Coming in off the bench, the rookie center dunked, knocked down all three of his 3-point tries and connected on 9 for 14 shots from the field. Adding 6 boards and 2 blocks, James Wiseman had himself a night! As the Warriors proceeded to take down the Wolves.
In 24 minutes of action, Wiseman scored a career-high 25 points, and picture this — he became the youngest Warrior to ever score 25+ points.
Yes, in fact James Wiseman became the first Warriors player under the age of 20 to score at least 25 points in a game in team history — regardless of starter or reserve.
Remember Gilbert Arenas? He was the previous youngest, dropping 25 on the Wizards back in 2002.
J-Dub is surely making history here!
But wait and see what the legends are saying about him, and how is he actually different from all of this year’s rookies — in the best way possible! Just stick to the end of this video to find out.
In the meantime, we’re dropping the top 5 on you! Here’s another way James Wiseman is not your regular human!
And this one plays out both on and off the court — James is one of the rare kind, he just loves adversity! As he has mentioned in various interviews, he naturally loves when people doubt him, and admires being challenged, put in difficult situations and face discomfort — right in the eye.
That ineligibility we talked about? Bring it! Not being drafted #1? Love it! Injuries or the challenges life throws at you? Pushing through and coming back stronger than ever!
We can’t tell the story better than J-Wise himself, so watch him ponder on this topic.
Now that’s a mentality! Especially for a young man.
Take notes, kids — learn a lesson, and make sure to take the hard path in life, and embrace your struggles like J-Wise does!
Next up — like you don’t have enough? — the #4 reason why James Wiseman is outstanding!
[VIDEO, 0:08: https://twitter.com/BettyKPIX/status/1360755626163335168]
Yes, the Golden State Warriors center speaks Chinese! And not only is he fluent in Mandarin, he is also having fun with it!
Back in high school, while other students were learning Spanish, James decided to go with Chinese — because he really wanted something different, and also understood that basketball and the NBA are big in the Chinese culture these days.
He learned the common words, phrases so now he can have a conversation with a native speaker, but James didn’t stop there! He also mastered the Chinese characters and learned to read and write in one of the most difficult and versatile languages in the world.
Additionally, Wiseman submerged himself in the culture of the Asian nation: he admits to love a lot of Chinese things like food for example — with spring rolls being his favorite China food to eat. And he even prefers to eat with chopsticks!
J-Wise frequently appears on Golden State Warriors Weibo — the Chinese social network, to share his news, connect with his fans in China, and of course to test out his Mandarin vocabulary.
We wish we could say something in Mandarin to show our excitement for the big man, but heck — we will leave it to you.
Are you with James, and can you say something in Mandarin? Let us know in the comments!
And remember to stick to the very end of this video to find out what is the #1 proof J-Dub deserved to be born on another planet. Or well, at least to be in the conversation about the most amazing human beings and basketball players out here.
But we continue with our James Wiseman terrific facts countdown — and it’s the #3 way why he is truly different.
Let’s go ahead and compare James’ path to the path taken by other rookies that are joining the NBA: this season, or any of the previous seasons for that matter.
Fresh out the college, or wherever they’re coming from: the G-League, or overseas — your average rookie spends the summer adjusting to the NBA play, hooping in the Summer League, bonding with the teammates, the coaches, the refs and soaking in the whole atmosphere of the offseason practices, just getting ready for the season to kick off.
Then it’s the pre-season, remember? Now that’s where you’re really getting a taste of the League. Squaring up against the full rosters of rival teams, getting the opportunity to face the superstars in a regular season-like matchup… That’s where you’re getting tested for real.
For a rookie — to go through all that preparation is vitally important for a successful start of their career in the NBA, and that’s why all these activities exist.
But guess what, James Wiseman skipped all that!
The reason is that coming into the 2020/2021 season, it was different. The COVID-19 restrictions were in place, the NBA Playoffs and The Finals have just concluded in the bubble, with no fans and with strict protocols in effect. The whole League was shut down.
As a result, James wasn’t able to go through all of the usual activities and jumped right into the action. Moreover, despite his rapid NBA introduction — he performed!
So before you’re trying to compare Wiseman to any of the rookies this season, think twice!
J-Dub’s path is just different.
Now let’s get to the topic of his performance and crunch some numbers in our #2 fact why James Wiseman is not your average guy.
We’re hearing people talk that Wiseman did not live up to the expectations his rookie season, that he didn’t perform well, that he exited with an injury, and so on and so forth.
And yes — while this is true that James did not have a perfect season due to being sidelined after suffering a torn meniscus — but despite playing only 39 games his rookie season, J-Wise has still put up a major fight, and here’s why.
When Wiseman suffered that knee injury against Houston, he ranked Top 3 to Top 5 among all rookies in multiple disciplines. Namely — third among rookies in rebounding (5.8 boards per game), fourth in shooting percentage (51.9% from the field), fourth blocks (0.9 per game), and fifth in scoring (11.5 points per game).
And keep in mind — the 11.5 points and 5.8 boards per game are almost double-double numbers, so that’s definitely an impressive achievement.
If we dig further, and take a look at the per-36-minutes averages for James Wiseman, who only played 69 minutes in college, and compare his numbers to some louder names out there, we’ll see that he is definitely in the conversation of having a great rookie season.
For instance, Deandre Ayton’s per-36-minutes averages as a rookie, after 1,172 collegiate minutes, were 19.1 points and 12.0 rebounds. And DeMarcus Cousins, after 893 collegiate minutes, recorded per-36 averages of 17.8 and 10.9 in Year 1. Bam Adebayo after 1,145 collegiate minutes — 12.6 and 10.0.
James Wiseman’s per-36 were 19.3 and 9.7.
So the numbers do prove that J-Dub’s rookie year was certainly not a failure — and the stat line proves that he’s making big moves, unlike many others. You better watch out!
Either way, we don’t want you to take our word for it — as we have approached the #1 thing why James Wiseman is different! As promised, this is going to be about some superstars and Hall of Famers, and this is huge!
We’ll let somebody else speak out for us shortly, but first — let’s go back to James’ childhood and see who he modeled his game after, so you can see he was way different from the get go.
While other kids might have watched MJ, Kobe, LeBron and the likes, little James Wiseman was already a wise man — he paid close attention to how the San Antonio Spurs legends David Robinson and Tim Duncan played back in the day.
Another superstar James compares himself to — and the one that has also vouched for James — is Chris Bosh. Bosh said he loves Wiseman’s game, sees great future for him, and currently lobbies for the Golden State Warriors to keep him in the roster and avoid trading the center.
Finally, last but not least to prove that James Wiseman is different — and the reason for James’ nickname Big Ticket — is no one other but the newly elected Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett.
Wiseman says KG is his favorite player of all time.
Imagine what an honor it is, to have your favorite player name you among the best up and coming big men in the NBA. When asked by the New York Times who he would relay the torch to, Garnett mentioned James Wiseman first.
Given that James comes back from his injury in a timely fashion, they are scheduled to train and work out together before the start of the next season.
Bright future ahead — for the 7-footer — who is truly different!
That’s it for this video, so if you liked it — don’t forget to hit the thumb up! And speaking about the bright future — make sure you subscribe to our channel, to not miss out on our future episodes!
Oh yeah, and let us know in the comments, what do you think! Any other reasons James Wiseman is different? What is your opinion on the ones that we’ve mentioned?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Until the next time — and stay different, basketball friends!