How Jordan Poole uses Aaron Judge mentality after Warriors contract extension

How Aaron Judge helped inspire JP after signing Dubs extension originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

After signing any kind of big contract as a professional athlete, the pressure and expectations moving forward typically increase.

Get paid, do the job well. But Warriors rising star guard Jordan Poole doesn’t necessarily view it that way.

The 23-year-old signed a massive four-year, $140 million contract extension with Golden State before the 2022-23 NBA season, and he actually found his inspiration from a player in another league.

“I read that [New York Yankees outfielder] Aaron Judge was asked if he has a different role after he signed his big contract,” Poole told writer Mark Medina. “He said he’s going to keep doing what he did to get that. That’s what got him there. So why change that? That’s the approach I take.”

Judge, who grew up about 90 miles east of San Francisco and was heavily pursued by the San Francisco Giants this offseason, signed a nine-year, $360 million contract that likely will keep him in pinstripes for the rest of his playing career. Whew.

After a breakout 2021-22 season where he averaged 18.5 points per game on 44.8 percent shooting from the field and 36.4 percent from 3-point range, while providing stability in the face of injuries, the Warriors’ desire to extend Poole became a must.

He also was a crucial part of the Warriors' championship run, helping Golden State win its fourth title in eight seasons.

After they won it all, Poole stood next to Andrew Wiggins and proclaimed they were “about to get a bag.” Four months later, they, in fact, did get a bag.

“In order for [the Warriors] to make a decision like that and for me to make a decision like that, they obviously thought I deserved it,” Poole said. “They like the character that I have, the way I can lead a team and everything else I bring on and off the court.

“With being able to be me in an organization like this, I try to bring positive energy. I’m grateful and appreciative.”

In his fourth season with the Dubs, Poole is averaging a career-high 20.9 points on 43.7 percent shooting from the field, 4.5 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 30.6 minutes per game this season.

RELATED: Stephen A.: Steph, Kerr 'accountable' for disappointing season

Poole has improved every season, which is encouraging for Dub Nation to see from a guy who will be around for the foreseeable future.

"I wouldn’t necessarily say there’s pressure," Poole said. "If anything, it’s more exciting to know I’m locked into the Bay for the next five [years]. We can go through the highs and lows of whatever it is. I embrace that. At 23 years old, it’s a pretty cool challenge."

Poole will look to help the Warriors (29-30) get out of their current lows as they make one final championship repeat push during the final stretch of the regular season.

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast