West Notes: Warriors, Klay Thompson, Suns, Kevin Durant, Spurs


A lot of fans forget that Pistons center James Wiseman was once the No. 2 overall draft pick, by the Warriors. He never really established himself as a young player on a team with championship-level veterans.Klay Thompson

Now, he’s barely playing (if at all) in Detroit. The Warriors visit the Pistons on Monday.

“I know James has greatness ahead of him,” shooting guard Klay Thompson told reporters on Sunday following a loss to the Cavaliers. “It can be hard at times when you’re a young player and you’re trying to establish yourself.

“But James is such a smart young man that he will be in this league for a long time.”

As star guard Stephen Curry added, Wiseman’s situation was “unique” in that he came to a team that was already built to win. Golden State had just suffered an array of injuries the previous season — resulting in a trip to the lottery.

“I think that we all love James, that’s the biggest thing,” Curry said. “That’s a guy that you all root for, that’s a guy who will be able to figure it out. …”

  • Thompson took the box score from Sunday’s loss to the Cavs and folded it into a paper airplane. ‘We didn’t play with the force we needed to win this game,” he said. “We definitely need to rebound the ball better. You can’t give this team that many second-chance points.”


  • Coach Frank Vogel said it was pretty evident star forward Kevin Durant was determined to end the Suns’ skid, with Durant scoring 41 in the road win over the Pistons. “He, like the rest of us, is tired of losing,” Vogel told reporters. “He really imposed his will.”
  • Durant added that was actually true of the entire team. “We all had that mentality,” he said. We have a full story on the Suns-Pistons game here.
  • Suns owner Mat Ishbia is from Michigan and a season-ticket holder at Little Caesars Arena. He watched the game from his front-row seat near the Suns’ bench.


Forward Doug McDermott said it may be best to just forget the Spurs’ road loss to the Raptors on Sunday, when San Antonio blew a 22-point lead.

“It was just one of those deals where we wanted to put that behind us, and I think that helped us just focus on Phoenix,” McDermott said, via Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. “That’s the best way after games like that — just take the box score, rip it up, throw it in the trash and move on.”

  • Coach Gregg Popovich seemed to chalk it up to the Spurs being mostly a young team, being built around rookie center Victor Wembanyama. “When you go through those experiences, those trials and tribulations, you learn from it,” Popovich said, via McDonald. “And until you go through them, you can’t practice them.”
  • Popovich indicated injured guard Devin Vassell (groin) could return to action, perhaps as soon as this week. The Spurs visit the Knicks on Wednesday. “It’s closer to short term than long term,” Popovich said Sunday of Vassell’s potential return.

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