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Warriors’ James Wiseman benched for missing COVID-19 test

James Wiseman

After missing a required COVID-19 test over the All-Star break, Golden State Warriors rookie James Wiseman was benched by head coach Steve Kerr during the first three quarters on Thursday night versus the Los Angeles Clippers.

Wiseman was unable to practice with the Warriors on Wednesday ahead of the start of the second half of the season because of the missed test. The decision to bench Wiseman to start the game versus the Clippers was a direct result of missing practice the previous night.

“I’m not going to go into detail, but this is all part of development as a young player,” Kerr said after the 130-104 loss. “You got to take care of your business. Everything matters. This was just a reaction to him missing the test and not being able to practice last night. That hurt us and that was the reason he did not play in the first half. I’m not going to go into any more detail than that because that’s private team business, but that was the reason.”

Wiseman finally entered the contest to start the fourth quarter and the second overall pick logged all 12 minutes in the period. He produced 14 points and seven rebounds on 6-of-7 shooting from the field with the result of the game well decided by that point.

Despite the mistake by Wiseman, Kerr was pleased to see how he responded.

“He was great,” Kerr said. “He responded exactly as I hoped he would. He looked like he was a little angry out there. He really competed and played with good energy and that bodes well. He’ll be back out there next game (on Sunday).”

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