Warriors

Warriors rookie Jordan Poole not a fan of social media, prefers movies

Warriors rookie Jordan Poole not a fan of social media, prefers movies

SAN FRANCISCO – Tweet at Jordan Poole, praise or criticism, and then wait for his reply.

Keep waiting.

Wait some more. Days. Weeks.

It will eventually become apparent there will be no reply. Poole is ignoring you – and everybody else. Don’t take it personally, for the Warriors’ first-round pick in the June draft is not like the others. Born in 1999, he’s the un-Millennial.

He is not on Twitter.

“Social media is too much,” Poole said Saturday after practice. “All of it. Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. What else? Twitch. What else? YouTube.

“I used to have it in high school. I stopped Snapchat in high school. I stopped Twitter going into college. I have Instagram now, occasionally just to watch videos. Cat videos and stuff.”

If this seems, um, insular, it’s by design. Poole would rather sleep, or watch movies on Netflix or Hulu, than put his thumbs to work on social media.

If this seems, um, idiosyncratic, it’s because it is. When most of his veteran teammates are watching news or current events on personal flat-screen TVs in each cubicle, Poole’ s eyes are on “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

“I’m 20,” he explained. “They’ve got families and stuff. And kids. I don’t have any of that stuff. I just kind of be me. I’m supposed to be a junior in college.”

Instead, the 6-foot-5 guard, a Milwaukee native who spent two years at the University of Michigan, is part of the influx of youngsters added to a roster that no longer has such accomplished veterans as Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

Poole is playing for a high-profile NBA team and living the California dream.

“One hundred percent,” he said. “Being here, in San Francisco, it’s the most ‘me’ vibe. You can always be yourself. Be unique. It’s really chill. Laid back. If there is any place I was supposed, it would be California.”

In that regard, Poole is a bit like one of his new teammates. Though Klay Thompson spent most of childhood in suburban Portland, Ore., is there any doubt he was made for California?

In another regard, Poole is almost exactly like Thompson. He also brings a gunslinger mentality to the basketball court and, based on early impressions, also has the skill to back it up.

“Jordan right now is a shooter. And a cutter; I love his cutting ability,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ll see if he can pass, as he develops as a player.”

“But I don’t think of him as Shaun or Andre. I think of him as a very young version of Klay. Can we help develop him defensively and maintain that confidence he has on offense?”

With only two preseason games on his NBA resume, Poole is a virtual lock to be in the team’s rotation. As much as he recognizes the success and respects the ability of team leaders Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, Poole also is firm in his belief he is ready to make an impact on a playoff team.

Particularly on offense.

“If I’m open, I’ll shoot it. If I’m hot, I’ll shoot it,” he said. “Just make the right play. That’s something that comes pretty easy if you have good IQ. Everybody on this team has a good IQ.

“I’m beyond blessed,” he added. “Anybody who comes here should be beyond blessed. Being able just to learn from everybody in this organization. Everybody wants to get better. Everybody wants to learn. Everybody has a lot to teach because they’ve been so successful. I feel like my game fits this team more and this organization perfectly.”

Teammates and coaches have been suitably impressed with Poole’s work ethic that they’re already anticipating his contributions.

“He’s really advanced,” Green said Thursday night, after Poole scored 19 points in 21 minutes in a win over Minnesota. “He’s very good with the basketball and he can shoot it, which is obviously at a premium in this league today. But he can really create shots for himself and can really stretch and space the floor out.”

Poole credits his impetuous youth for his ability to find buckets. He generally played against bigger, older kids, forcing him to strive for his best. To stay on the court, he had to be tough – even though he was thin – and find creative ways to flourish.

[RELATED: Why Warriors should trade Evans]

In preparation for the rigors of the NBA, Poole has added about 20 pounds over the past four months, going from 185 to 205. He admits to having “a chip on my shoulder,” and that it might have increased in size on draft night, when some observers questioned whether he deserved to go in the first round.

“I’ve been getting that since I was young, bruh,” Poole said. “It’s just keep my head down and grind.”

Keeping his down is one thing Poole shares with his age group. Except he’s not staring into his phone.

Watch Warriors' Andrew Wiggins show off handle in offseason workout

Watch Warriors' Andrew Wiggins show off handle in offseason workout

The Warriors haven't played in an NBA game for five months, and they might not play for (at least) another two or so.

Andrew Wiggins is trying to make the most of that time, working out with trainer Chris Johnson in Los Angeles. Johnson posted a video on his Instagram on Wednesday of Wiggins flashing his handle on a slot pick-and-roll.

Steph Curry and Draymond Green figure to share the bulk of the ball-handling duties if and when the Warriors' projected starting lineup is fully healthy to start next season, so Wiggins might not get many chances to show off what he learned working with Johnson. Projected over a full season, Wiggins' 25.4 percent usage rate in his first 12 games with the Warriors would be the fourth-lowest of his career. Curry played in just one of those games, so that number almost certainly will drop in Wiggins' first full season with Golden State.

[RELATED: Steph, Dame deserve better than these ridiculous debates]

Still, Wiggins initiating plays as a primary ballhandler would be an added bonus.  The Warriors are plenty high on him already, though.

Assistant coach Ron Adams said in June that the "sky's the limit" for the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and head coach Steve Kerr said earlier this month that "[Wiggins] fights right in" on the wing.

Wednesday's video provided a brief glimpse of how Wiggins is trying to reward their faith.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Why Klay Thompson thinks it's 'hard time to play' during NBA restart

Why Klay Thompson thinks it's 'hard time to play' during NBA restart

Klay Thompson said he can't blame any NBA players having trouble focusing on basketball right now.

The restarted season is occurring in a "bubble" at the Walt Disney World Resort amid a global pandemic that has killed nearly 170,000 Americans alone and within months of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor's deaths at the hands of police. The coronavirus' disparate impact on people of color, coupled with renewed attention on African Americans disproportionately dying in police custody, has laid bare the entrenched systemic inequalities within the United States. 

Around three-fourths of NBA players are Black, and Thompson said he empathizes with his peers on the 22 NBA teams still playing.

"Honestly, these last few months, it was like divine intervention happening for the world to see what is really going on to a lot of marginalized peoples in this country," Thompson told Brandon Williams in an interview for Bleacher Report. "So I feel for the players right now. It's a hard time to play."

Thompson marched in a protest against systemic racism organized by teammate Juan Toscano-Anderson back in June, and NBA players and coaches have maintained that focus in Orlando.

[RELATED: Steph, Dame deserve better than these ridiculous debates]

Players are mentioning Taylor in their pre- and post-game press conferences, calling for the officers involved in her death to be arrested. Gregg Popovich's media availability routinely serve as history lessons about American injustice. League-approved social-justice messages adorn the backs of players' jerseys. The NBA announced it's committing $300 million over the next decade to spur economic growth in Black communities.

This all is happening as the NBA seeks to complete its season and crown a champion, with teams resuming for the first time in months in pursuit of the sport's ultimate prize. That's a tall order on its own, and an even taller one for players and coaches using their platforms in an effort to enact meaningful, systemic change.

It's understandable they're doing so with heavy hearts.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]