Warriors

Warriors

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Throughout his first two seasons in the NBA, Jordan Bell frequently has described his career as a roller-coaster. 

In the latest twist, Bell, according to The Athletic, was suspended for Wednesday's 118-103 win over the Grizzlies for making a charge to Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown's hotel room bill during the team's stay in town.

As Bell deals with the expected repercussions of his actions, his teammates seem confident he can overcome his latest mistake. 

"Move on," Kevin Durant told NBC Sports Bay Area when asked about his message to the second-year big man. "We talked about it, just move on. We have eight more games until the playoffs, and just move on, man." 

During his brief tenure with the Warriors, Bell's on- and off-court inconsistencies have been a reason he's occasionally fallen out of favor with the coaching staff. After injuring his ankle last season, Bell struggled to capitalize on a strong start to his professional career. 

Durant has a unique lens into Bell's short journey. Last season, following a 126-106 loss to the Indiana Pacers, Durant made a point to sit next to Bell on the team plane, stressing the importance of being a professional in an effort to veer the rookie from the path he was heading. 

"Last year he came in, a lot of rookies come in with a nice ego and attitude because they're coming from situations where they were the man, and I think Jordan came in here real humble and ready to serve his teammates," Durant said Wednesday.   

 

Since Bell's first season, Durant has taken a liking to the former Oregon Duck. During timeouts, Durant sits with Bell and childhood friend Quinn Cook. Following the Warriors second consecutive NBA title, Durant even found his way onto the Instagram story of Shelly Brown, Bell's childhood friend, expressing his love for Bell and his hometown of Long Beach.

For Durant, Bell's slip is just a fork in the road. 

"It's his second year in the league, Durant said. "You're going to go through ups and downs, from family, to on the court, to practice, to with your teammates. You're still adjusting to the life, and it's even worse for him coming into a championship organization or team that expects him to be on top of his game at all times, and that's kind of impossible for a second-year player, especially a guy that's not getting consistent minutes and not in the rotation for part of the year.

"He's got a grand opportunity to take care of his family for the rest of his life, he should take advantage of it," Durant added. "So that's been my message for him every single day. Just being on point on the basketball court because once you do that, your life can change in a matter of moments.

Andre Iguodala also knows Bell's growing pains. During last year's playoff run, Bell missed an optional workout. In response, Iguodala sent a video message to Bell saying, “Optional workouts do not apply to you. It only applies to four or five people on the team, and you are not one of them.”

"Its just part of things that happen throughout your career," Iguodala said. "I haven't had a perfect career, I've made mistakes, but you bounce back and learn from them. So in the grand scheme of things, you have to move forward and get back on the right track, and he'll be good." 

"It's really not that big of a deal," Iguodala added. "It's a mistake, nobody was harmed, learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen again. You just have to have your antennas up as far as how your mind works. When you're young, you can drift a little bit, then you have to reel yourself back in and calm down. He'll be fine."

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The latest disciplinary action is a big blow for Bell, who’s in the second year of a two-year, $2.1 million deal with the team. The Warriors can extend a $1.8 million qualifying offer this summer, and it remains to be seen if he's a lock to be with the team next season.

 

However, his teammate believes, despite his recent mistake, the young big man will figure things out. 

"I see a long career ahead of him," Durant said. "Somebody that's the ultimate teammate, who comes in and is always ready, and he's still learning, man. Its gonna take him some time to figure things out as a player, but he's ahead of the curve."