Saturday, June 25, 2022

Warriors’ Steve Kerr warns the promising star to be wary of his teammate’s approach

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After decades of underperforming teams and bad luck, the Golden State Warriors have landed on a gold mine. The Dubs are heading into their sixth final in their last eight seasons. Only three other NBA franchises have ever done that.

It’s not every day that Hall of Famers-to-be have young players waiting in the wings (literally) to take over. Ask the New York Knicks. Her fans would do anything to acquire one outstanding talent just once in her lifetime.

Jordan Poole is well on his way to ushering the dubs into the new era. For a player as outstanding as Steph Curry, Poole has taken the league by storm and helped lift the Warriors’ ceiling from a typical playoff team back to a championship contender.

In a recent profile of The Ringer, longtime Warriors writer Logan Murdock delves into Poole’s career, from his upbringing to his aversion to interviewing at press conferences.

As great as Poole has been this season, there were times when he slipped into bad habits and became ineffective when his shot didn’t miss. The third-grader had to find ways to turn the game around when his shot went wide.

“I keep giving him little hints and things I wouldn’t say to Steph [Curry] about shot selection,” head coach Steve Kerr told Murdock last year. “I will say to Jordan [Poole] because Jordan doesn’t deserve it yet. In his third year, his 3-point percentage is not as high as Steph’s. And without trying to thwart him and stop him from being himself, I’m trying to move towards really high-percentage recordings rather than imitating Steph. It’s a dangerous game to emulate Steph.”

That was a big difference in Poole’s game this season. Instead of trying to create shots from dribbling and launching Curry-like three-pointers from midfield, Poole learned to play within the Warriors system – the move off the ball – something Curry mastered himself and helped the team make threes to win championships.

It was’nt easy. As a first-round pick, Poole was assigned to the G-League to figure out how to play at the NBA level. Although he would dominate at this level, there was still a steep learning curve for the young guard to overcome.

Poole is described as someone who worked his or her tail off to drastically improve during the pandemic halt. He was constantly watching movies and figuring out how to get back to the gym to work on certain elements of his game that he needed to improve.

“We have a lot of time to be really patient and reevaluate and restructure,” Poole tells Murdock. “You know what you want to be, I think. I’ve really just sat down and watched the movie for those few months, watched everything, watched playoff basketball to see what it was like and asked questions.”

Now Poole appears to have reaped the rewards of his determination and work ethic over the past few years. If he continues like this, there are no limits to the 22-year-old.

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