Andrew Wiggins Draymond Usatsi 22668138

San Francisco – Andrew Wiggins returned to the Bay Area on Monday, joined the Warriors for practice on Tuesday and will play on Wednesday. If he needs to go out again on Thursday, it will be understood and accepted.

If anyone in the group has to leave for a serious family matter, it will be understood and accepted.

“I don’t care about the basketball part,” coach Steve Kerr said after Tuesday’s practice. “Life is more important than the game. The bottom line is that if any of our players have a situation in life where they need to be with their family, then they will be.”

“They want everyone to be safe and give them the space they need and that’s always the way we operate.”

Wiggins’ vacation lasted a week. He missed four games, three of which the Warriors won. They managed to have a successful road trip by any reasonable measure when there was no reason for their personal family.

It’s important to note that Golden State’s starting small forward has been busy in Wiggins’ absence. He did a few workouts and followed the Warriors as they swept Eastern Conference teams in Washington, New York, Toronto and Boston. He liked what he saw.

“We’re in growth,” Wiggins said. “We found a good thing. We found the identity we wanted. We put the pieces together, and it was a special last game. Everyone is playing well, playing together, and we look like real Golden State Warriors.”

The “real” Golden State Warriors have a roster full of players who can contribute. “Real” Warriors are playing their best basketball during the regular season when it matters most. The “real” fighters believe that they have more than enough to show in the game.

The “real” Warriors expect to play well, caring for the individual needs of every player and coach on the NBA’s highest payroll.

However, Wiggins’ return is no doubt a boost. After a mediocre first half, according to the judges, Wiggins has also been impressive defensively on the perimeter while scoring in double figures in 14 of his last 16 games.

He looks like the “real” Andrew Wiggins, and the Warriors are all the better for it.

That’s why he will play — and likely start — Wednesday night, when the Milwaukee Bucks invade Chase Center.

“We feel comfortable,” Kerr said. “We’ll see how many minutes. You can’t really simulate an NBA game[when you’re not out there]so we’ll see how it holds up. But physically he’s absolutely fine to play and play tomorrow.”

Neither he nor Kerr provided details behind their absence, though the injury may have been to keep Wiggins out of the job.

“Just taking care of what I need to take care of and attending to what I need to attend to,” Wiggins said of the time away. “I think now is the right time to come back. That’s how I feel. So I’m back here with the team and I’m ready to get to it.”

The rest are pertinent questions related to Wiggins’ frame of mind. Can he fully focus on his basketball responsibilities during every minute of the game? Can he perform the mental gymnastics required to perform at the highest level?

Some players, no matter the sport, can be negatively affected by events off the court or field, just as some employees in any job find it difficult to stay on the clock if their personal life becomes more stressful.

One thing Wiggins knows and feels is that his workplace is a safe place.

“Being on the team, it’s all love and support,” he said. “This is family. I miss the boys and basketball while I’m away. I’m glad to be back.

Wiggin’s happiness comes with caution and conditions. He’s been through it before, and his experience tells him that things can change quickly. That much was clear when asked if the matter they discussed on Tuesday had been resolved.

“Not exactly,” he said. But I just take it every day.

Maybe this week or next week or next month – there will come a time when Wiggins will have to decide whether to stay with his teammates or return to his family. There is comfort in knowing that any decision will be accepted.

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