Jordan Poole has experienced a lot during his four NBA seasons. Nonetheless, he still has quite a bit of learning to do, and that's something Warriors coach Steve Kerr continuously is trying to get through to his young guard.
During the Warriors' 120-114 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Poole was called for an offensive foul late in the third quarter and compounded the situation by holding on to the basketball while trying to discuss the play with one of the referees.
That action led to a Delay of Game technical foul being called on the Warriors, giving the Cavs a free-throw, which Darius Garland converted, cutting Golden State's lead from 13 to 12 heading into the fourth quarter.
Kerr wasn't happy and let Poole hear about it.
After the game, Kerr addressed his ire directed at Poole and explained the message he's trying to get across.
"I'm going to stay on Jordan," Kerr told reporters in Cleveland. "He's continuing to grow and he's getting better. I think the last two games, he was fantastic in terms of staying off the referees. He got the offensive foul and then held the ball as he talked to the ref, and that was a delay of game. So I'm trying to get Jordan to the point where he understands every play counts and every moment counts. So, every once in a while, I snap and I snapped in that moment and he looked at me like I was nuts. But it's all part of it. I love Jordan and I love the way he's playing and he was incredible tonight."
Poole, who finished a game-high 32 points in the win, scored six points in the fourth quarter to help the Warriors seal their sixth road win of the season.
While Poole didn't necessarily defend his actions towards the referee, he offered insight into why he talks to officials in moment like the one on Friday.
"If I see something, I'm going to ask to see what they see just so I can get a clear answer on how they're reffing," Poole told reporters. "And all the refs are different. Everybody's different. Everybody has different calls. Some are more specific on certain calls, some aren't. I'll ask. I'll fight for my teammates, just to see what they're ... calling, what we can get, what we can't get. You've just got to play off of that."
Steph Curry, one of four Warriors starters resting against the Cavs, saw the replay of the incident between Kerr and Poole posted on Instagram and made sure to point out that the interaction was positive for everyone involved.
"Hey for all the kids watching this clip…Coach Kerr coaching like he should," Curry wrote on the post by House of Highlights. "JP taking the energy the right way. Both of them move on to try and win the game!!! @houseofhighlights Make sure you show how @jordan_poole bounced back after this."
The Warriors view Poole as a bridge between the present and the future of the franchise. As a result, it's imperative that he soaks up all the information he can from Kerr, Curry and the other veterans on the team.
Friday's outburst from Kerr looks bad on the surface, but in the end, it was a valuable learning experience for Poole.
Now the goal is for him to not make the same mistake twice. Offensive fouls are going to happen. But Delay of Game technical fouls shouldn't happen. It's on Poole to correct this going forward.