Eclectic Warriors rookie guard Jordan Poole attaining early success

Logan Murdock

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's roughly 45 minutes after the Warriors 123-101 preseason-opening defeat to the Lakers and Jordan Poole is still in full uniform. 

In the bowels of Chase Center, he's participating in a postgame workout alongside Golden State's newest young core. But the music blaring isn't the typical bass-heavy beat that encourages cardiovascular activity. Instead, a mix of SZA, Tyler the Creator and Travis Scott are playing, courtesy of Poole's iPhone.  

"That's exclusive," Poole boasts. "It's vibes fasho."

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

For much of his life, Poole has shown an eclectic personality, which has manifested itself on the court as a dependable scorer. Through two preseason games, he's averaging 18 points on 47 percent from the field. One of eight summer additions, the 20-year old is inheriting a team without Kevin Durant and waiting for Klay Thompson.  

As his tenure with the team continues, the rookie is hoping to integrate himself quickly on a team in transition. 

"Jordan has had two excellent nights shooting the ball," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said following Thursday win over the Timberwolves. "He's had a hell of a camp."

In the win, Poole finished with 19 points, including three 3-pointers, giving a glimpse of his offensive potential. Nine minutes into the second quarter, he made an open 3-pointer off a Draymond Green assist. A minute later, he ran a pick and roll with Marquese Chriss before making an off-balance floater. 

His offensive outbursts have become routine. In last week's loss to the Lakers -- with his team down double digits -- Poole scored eight second-quarter points to help cut the Lakers' lead to eight, garnering praise from teammates and coaches alike. 

"We like his aggression," Kerr said. "I don't mind him taking quick shots. I want him to feel confident and comfortable out there and he's a very confident young player and we're going to try to feed into that." 

"He's really advanced," Warriors forward Draymond Green added. "He's very good with the basketball and he can shoot it, which is obviously a premium in this league today. He can really create shots for himself and really stretch that floor out."

While offense comes easy for Poole, defense continues to be a focus. Against the Timberwolves, he was active. Four minutes into the second quarter, he barked out orders to D'Angelo Russell to switch onto his man before stripping forward Naz Reid. A minute later, guarding Jaylen Nowell, he shuffled his feet as the guard used a spin move and blocked his shot out of bounds.  

"Just trying to be a two-way player," Poole said Thursday. "That's really all it is to it. I mean its just effort and all these guys know how to play D so it makes it pretty easy when everybody else is very cohesive on the defensive end." 

Such an effort wasn't seen consistently during his college career at Michigan. While he led the Wolverines in scoring last season, his defensive attention was maligned, leading to a reputation he's trying to shake. 

"A narrative gets put out and that's kind of what you get labeled as," Poole said. "But you can always work on defense and everybody. I'm just gonna to continue work on it day in and day out." 

"I feel like I know I can score the ball and I'm really good on offense and be able to lock up on the perimeter," he added. "I feel like that will take me to the next level."

Back in the training room, Poole is continuing to lift as Tyler, The Creator's "EARFQUAKE" plays on full blast, prompting a mood more appropriate for a date than a workout. Even two-way guard Damion Lee shakes his head at the juxtaposition as he walks past. 

[RELATED: Steph scores 40, asserts aggression with new-look Warriors]

Poole boasts there are about 500 hundred songs on this particular playlist, but won't divulge the lucky artists on it. He says he might drop it on his Instagram soon, giving his more than 180,000 followers some insight into what his new team is already beginning to find out. 

"I feel like I'm a pretty smooth-like individual," he admits. "After all the hoopla, like all the stuff going on in the game, before the game, all the upbeat stuff you gotta be chill and mellow." 

Eclectic Warriors rookie guard Jordan Poole attaining early success originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

What to Read Next