Jonas Jerebko's buzzer-beater didn't surprise Warriors: 'He's fearless'

Jonas Jerebko's buzzer-beater didn't surprise Warriors: 'He's fearless'

OAKLAND -- The Warriors' victory over the Bulls Friday night was all but decided by the end of the first half, if not earlier. But considering the arena-wide excitement upon the sound of the first-quarter buzzer, you wouldn't have known it.

That buzzer, of course, sounded just before a half-court buzzer-beater from Jonas Jerebko fell through the net, and yes, the bank was open.

It was the latest highlight in Jerebko's Warriors' reel, which, for having only been with Golden State for half a season, is well populated.

Jerebko cemented his spot on his teammates' good side when he tipped in a game-winner against the Jazz in Utah in the second game of the season. On Friday, he may have done the same in the hearts of the home crowd.

After Jerebko banked in his halftime buzzer-beater, he soon found himself on the floor after colliding with an overly excited Stephen Curry in celebration. But the raucous ovation that reverberated around the arena was a clear sign the fan base has fully embraced the Warriors' new cult hero.

Those fans may not have known what the Warriors were getting when Jerebko signed as a free agent at the beginning of the offseason. Their coach, however, is not the least bit surprised by what Jerebko's been able to contribute through the first half of the season.

"I've watched him throughout his career," Steve Kerr said of Jerebko following the blowout victory. "I've always liked his game and I thought he would fit right in with what we do because he knows how to play ... he's having a really good year for us.

"He's not one of those guys that's afraid of anything," Kerr continued, "he doesn't care about missed shots, he's going to keep firing, and he'll take the halfcourt shot, too. So, it was fun to see that go in."

Curry -- who knows a thing or two about long distance buzzer-beaters -- echoed Kerr's sentiment.

"I'm not surprised at all," Curry said following a game in which he moved up to third place on the NBA's all-time 3-point list. "I was excited about that signing from the jump in the summer, understanding what he can provide. He's physical, he's confident from behind the line, making plays, making his threes.

"He's just fearless. You can count on him night in, night out to be out there, put his body on the line, move the ball, play the right way. I know he's still continuing to get comfortable and understand how he can be most effective out there on the floor, but he's been great for us. A huge catalyst in some big wins we've had, and can only expect that to continue, for sure."

Jerebko has already proven to be one of the more underrated free agent signings across the league this season, and he's outplaying the contract he signed. He's only spent 42 regular season games in a Golden State uniform, so the notion that he can be even more effective than he has already been is not out of the question.

As for feeling more comfortable, well, he should feel right at home at Oracle Arena after that ovation Friday night. Of course, a few more buzzer-beaters couldn't hurt.

Warriors' Quinn Cook explains why he never doubted his NBA potential

Warriors' Quinn Cook explains why he never doubted his NBA potential

Quinn Cook's path to the NBA was not direct, but the Warriors guard said he never stopped believing in himself. 

The Duke product went undrafted after winning a National Championship with the Blue Devils in 2015. He was a part of four different NBA organizations (Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks) before signing a two-way contract with the Warriors in 2017.

But Cook said he got by with a little help from his friends. College teammate Austin Rivers watched him in the G League, and so did LeBron James after a training camp together in Cleveland. 

"That doesn't happen, and those guys kept my confidence [up]," Cook told Rivers and Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke on The Uninterrupted Road Trippin' Podcast. "I knew the work I put in. And growing up, I always had confidence in myself. I was a McDonald's All-American. I was All-American in college. I just had to take a different route, and I appreciated it."

Cook caught his big break with the Warriors last season. He played his way into coach Steve Kerr's rotation, and eventually a roster spot once Steph Curry was sidelined down the stretch with an injury. 

In his fourth NBA season, Cook averaged career-highs of 9.5 points, 2.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. He hit the 20-point mark five times, and started 15 of the Warriors' final 16 regular-season games. 

Cook returned to the bench at the start of the playoffs, but still played 10 minutes a night for the eventual NBA champions. He made it, almost overnight, but said he was able to keep things in perspective. 

"[When] Steph went down and I started to score [a lot], I didn't act like this was new because I had been doing it my whole life," Cook continued. "That was just a great opportunity that I wanted to take advantage of, and everything happened for a reason. [Four] teams passed on me, but I got on the right team and I just want to keep building."

[RELATED: Austin Rivers explains how Steph transformed basketball]

Curry has played in 60 of the Warriors' 71 games this season, so Cook has only started eight times. His minutes and production are down, too, but Cook is scoring (16.3 points) and rebounding (5.6 rebounds) at the highest per-36 minute rates of his career. 

Not that he's surprised. 

You can hear the rest of Rivers, Cook and Burke's conversation on Road Trippin' in the player below, and subscribe here.