Warriors Rumors: Jordan Poole's Work Ethic Considered 'the Best on the Team'

Adam WellsMay 3, 2022

MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 1:  Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates after the game against the Memphis Grizzlies during Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 1, 2022 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

In the midst of a breakout postseason, Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole's performance isn't a surprise to people in the organization. 

Appearing on The Hoop Collective Podcast (starts at 38:50 mark), ESPN's Marc J. Spears said Poole's work ethic is considered the best among all Warriors players. 

"The Warriors did a great job of letting him grow," Spears explained. "I kept hearing that his work ethic was the best on the team. Best on the team? Better than Klay and Steph? Hey, best on the team? He built himself, credit to him. The Warriors built him into, you know, credit to Chris DeMarco that built him into this."

Poole has had a steady ascent in the NBA since being selected with the No. 28 overall pick by Golden State in the 2019 draft.

Injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson may have contributed to Poole getting more playing time as a rookie than the team was anticipating. He averaged 8.8 points per game in 57 appearances but only made 33.3 percent of his field-goal attempts. 

The 2020-21 campaign saw Poole's playing time decrease from 22.4 minutes per game to 19.4 minutes, but his scoring average (12.0 points per game) and scoring efficiency (43.2 field-goal percentage) significantly increased. 

Poole was used as the primary shooting guard early this season before Thompson returned to the lineup. He turned into an essential part of the offense, finishing third on the team in scoring average (18.2 points per game) on 36.4 percent three-point shooting. He led the NBA with a 92.5 free-throw percentage.

Speaking to ESPN's Kendra Andrews, Poole spoke about not feeling pressure when the coaching staff was giving him advice to improve his game. 

"Everything they were saying—he takes bad shots or he can't pass, he can't dribble—I wasn't worried about that," he said. "Because I knew what I was capable of. It would just be a matter of how I would be able to incorporate my game into the team's. It will take some time, and I knew that."

In six playoff games, Poole has been arguably Golden State's best player. The 22-year-old scored at least 27 points in each of the first three games against the Denver Nuggets. He scored a team-high 31 points off the bench in a 117-116 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday. 

As Thompson deals with knee soreness, Poole's ability to play at a high level will be crucial for the Warriors in their quest to win a championship. He has more than lived up to the task thus far. 

Golden State will look to take a 2-0 series lead over the Grizzlies in Game 2 on Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. ET.