Nico Mannion # 2 of the Golden State Warriors dribbles past Kyle Guy # 7 of the Sacramento Kings.
A trip to the Tokyo Olympics apparently wasn’t exactly nice for former Golden State Warriors guard Nico Mannion, who reportedly contracted an infection during the international tournament that now makes him look quite frail.
Mannion, a 2020 second round draft pick for the Warriors, has signed for the next season with Virtus Bologna from Italy’s Serie A, having competed for the Italian team at the Summer Olympics. But Mannion’s season got bogged down with an intestinal infection that led to dramatic weight loss.
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Mannion suffers from the effects of infection
The 20-year-old security guard’s condition sparked some viral interest this week after a picture taken during team training showed that his already light frame looked noticeably thinner. The picture caused some concern among Warriors fans.
Apparently Nico Mannion contracted an intestinal virus during the Olympic Games in Tokyo and will now be absent for several weeks because of the stomach virus. Looks like he’s lost a lot of weight. Hoping he’ll get better soon. pic.twitter.com/poaB3HL7pm
– TheWarriorsTalk (@TheWarriorsTalk) September 6, 2021
As Ezra Amacher of SB Nation’s Arizona Desert Storm noted, the illness prevented Mannion from attending Virtus training camp and kept him away from the team’s first preseason game on Friday. Virtus head coach Sergio Scariolo hinted that Mannion may be missing out on some time and told EuroHoops.net that they need a replacement at the start of the season.
“Mannion won’t be there at the start of the championship, so we need a player to avoid putting puttos ‘squeezing’ the others,” said Scariolo. “We are looking in the market for an element to be absorbed, a point guard that can remain in the future. For this reason, we focus on young people who can give something important, and not on an experienced addition. “
Mannion could return to the NBA
Mannion has a potential route back to the NBA, with a release clause after his first year with Virtus. If he returns, it will be with the Warriors, who will retain his limited free agent rights. That seems like the long-term plan, as Mannion’s agent Bill Duffy told NBA insider Jordan Schultz, that the 20-year-old is hoping to return to the NBA after winning a title in Italy.
#Warriors will keep Nico Mannion as RFA. Important note, especially when Bill Duffy points out that Mannion could potentially return to the league in a year or two.
– Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) August 10, 2021
Mannion appeared in 30 games for the Warriors last season, averaging 4.1 points and 2.3 assists in 12.1 minutes per game. As Mercury News’s Wes Goldberg noted in an annual review of Mannion’s season, the Arizona product has the potential to make a solid contribution to the second unit, but it must overcome its shortcomings first.
“His shooting of 34.2% took the last place in the team and made driving and pedaling much more difficult because his defenses sagged, especially since he is not a top athlete. At 6 feet-2, 190 pounds, Mannion is too small to be a senior defender. Over the course of his rookie season, Mannion has only proven he can take care of the ball (only one turnover per game), but he hasn’t created for himself or anyone else. “
It’s not exactly clear when Mannion got his infection, but it didn’t seem to hold him back during the Tokyo Olympics. Averaging 12.5 points and 4.5 assists per game in the Olympics, he helped lead Italy to the quarter-finals, where the team lost to eventual silver medalist France.
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