OAKLAND -- He’s a rookie who grew up in Long Beach, went to the University of Oregon and was selected by the Warriors in the second round of the 2017 NBA draft.
Jordan Bell is 22 years old, the baby of five siblings raised by a single mother. Inasmuch as he owns a pit bull, Prince, it seems logical that his favorite NBA player is his new teammate, Draymond Green.
The Warriors like what they have seen of Bell thus far, so it’s as good a time as any to learn a few things about the rookie.
--He’s a Dallas Cowboys fan. He was a Raiders fan, then a New York Giants fan and eventually, with goading from his family, settled on Cowboys.
--As a youngster, he was more into football than basketball.
“I just really started playing basketball in high school. I always played at the park, but I never thought to myself that I wanted to be a basketball player. Not until high school, when I had a growth spurt, about four inches over one summer. That made me the tallest dude in my class, so I thought I might as well give this basketball thing a try. Once I started playing, I started loving it. I stopped playing football for a while. And then I realized I love basketball way more than football. “
--He loves, loves, loves music, says he listens to it “all the time,” and that his favorite rapper is an easy call: Kendrick Lamar.
“Before Kendrick came a long, I just liked music, period.”
He’s willing to offer his personal take on the top-five rappers, all time.
“In no order, Tupuc. Biggie. Kendrick. Eminem. Jay-Z. That’s just my preference though. If I could add a few more, I’d add Nas, Andre Three Stacks (aka Andre 3000), Lil Wayne. That’s my top eight. I also love J. Cole. He’s a rapper that older people can listen to. “But I actually listen to R&B more than I do hip-hop.”
This is when Bell points out more favorites, including Chris Brown, as well as old-school artists Musiq Soulchild, Maxwell, Anthony Hamilton and the late Luther Vandross.
--Coming from the structured environment under coach Dana Altman at Oregon, Bell was more than a bit surprised at the relatively laid back atmosphere around the Warriors during the offseason.
“Everybody is real nonchalant. They seem to have a lot of trust in their players. They don’t make you come in; anything you want to do is like, optional. Even for me, as a rookie. I didn’t expect that. I thought they’d have a schedule of what days I had to work out. But it’s real . . . the ball is in your court.
“At Oregon, they checked on our classes every single day. Our coaches checked the classes. It was very strict. If you’re not on time, you’re running after practice. They’re very serious over there.”
--He is finding it rather easy to adapt to the Bay Area, and is enjoying the dining options.
“It’s a kind of like Southern California in some ways. But I like Mexican food. I like to find hole-in-the-wall kind of places. There’s a taco truck right next to my building (in Oakland) that’s really good.”
--Being someone with a relish for playing defense, he has identified players that pose special challenges for a defender.
“Honestly, two of them are on this team, KD and Steph. KD is a serious matchup problem. It’s crazy. How do you defend that? You can’t defend it. Even if you’re his size and you move like him, you still couldn’t do anything about it. But nobody is his size and also moves like him. He’s what, 7 (feet)? Shoots like a guard, moves like a guard, handles like a guard, is athletic and gets to the rim. Crazy.
“But I definitely watch all different types of players, like Chris Paul, James (Harden) and a lot of others.”