With the responsibility of guiding the Golden State Warriors’ second unit, and in the wake of a four-year, $140 million contract extension, Jordan Poole entered the season as one of, if not the outright favourite for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.
Instead, the Warriors have the worst bench in the league, and Poole is a primary architect as to why — the 23 year-old has the worst plus-minus on the team and is shooting just 40.6% from the field, 30.1% from the three-point line and 80.5% from the free-throw line.
Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers isn’t worried about the form of Jordan Poole, but were his comments a subtle dig at the team’s other young players?
Poole’s form hit a tipping point against the Sacramento Kings on Monday night, with the fourth-year guard delivering a lackadaisical and uninspiring performance in a little under 22 minutes. He looked bereft of confidence, taking just four shots for two total points to go with three turnovers.
Speaking to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic on Tuesday, Warriors general manager Bob Myers suggested that Poole’s commitment and hard work, which included getting shots up post-game, was a reason not to be concerned with his current form.
"“Jordan is fully engaged in being the best player he can be. That, we can’t make players do. He could’ve easily showered and went home last night. But he didn’t. And that shows a commitment level”, Myers said."
Some on social media were quick to correlate this as a subtle dig towards the Warriors younger players, namely recent lottery picks James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. The form and management of the first two has been a particular talking point so far this season, with Wiseman and Kuminga each in-and-out of the rotation and unable to string together a strong stretch of form.
Maybe this was a nudge for the young trio — that they should be out there with Poole having each played under nine minutes, and in Wiseman’s case none. However, those who were quick to make that reference may not have acknowledged Myers’ prior comments on Wiseman.
"“He’s a good kid. I would be more concerned if I thought he wasn’t putting in the work outside of the games. But he is. And he cares. And it’s just going to have to run its course.”"
Earlier in the offseason, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith voiced concerns of hearing issues relating to Kuminga’s work ethic. However, the Warriors, including veteran Andre Iguodala, were quick to deny any such problems existed.
For now, despite the struggles, Golden State have earnt the fans’ trust to manage the young players how they see fit, and maintain faith that those same players are wholeheartedly committed to taking this franchise forward in the right direction.