Steve Kerr told Jordan Poole to stop playing offense like Steph Curry


Steve Kerr told Jordan Poole to stop playing offense like Steph Curry

  • Jordan Poole has emerged as a star for the Warriors and as a third-scorer.
  • However, Steve Kerr said he had to tell Poole not to impersonate Stephen Curry because it was “dangerous”.
  • Poole struggled in his first two seasons in the NBA but has become a reliable option for the Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors are back in the Finals after a two-year absence, and Jordan Poole’s promotion is a big reason for that.

Poole, 23, had a breakout season in his third year in the league, averaging 18.5 points per game in the regular season. He’s maintained his scoring average in the playoffs while increasing his shot percentage to an efficient 53% from the field and 39% from three.

Poole has an uncanny ability to score goals somewhat akin to Warriors star Stephen Curry: Poole’s ability to shoot three-pointers from dribble forces the defense to closely guard him on the edge. He uses his grip to overcome that pressure, slipping past defenders and firing shots from unique angles in the paint. That shot on target has only made the Warriors deeper and more difficult to guard, making head coach Steve Kerr a reliable source of attack behind Curry and Klay Thompson.

But only because Poole can score how Curry, that doesn’t mean the warriors think him should. Kerr told The Ringer’s Logan Murdock that throughout his career he had to kindly remind the 6-foot-4 shooting guard to play a little less brazenly than the two-time Warriors MVP.

“I give him little hints all the time, and things that I wouldn’t say to Steph about shot selection, I’ll tell Jordan because Jordan doesn’t deserve that yet,” Kerr told Murdock. “In his third year, his 3 point percentage is not Steph’s. Without trying to thwart him and stop him from being himself, I’m trying to move towards really high-percentage recordings rather than imitating Steph. It’s a dangerous game to emulate Steph.”

Steve Kerr speaks to Jordan Poole during a game in 2022.

Steve Kerr and Jordan Poole.

Jeff Chiu/AP Images

Over the years, Kerr has embraced and even encouraged Curry’s bold shot-making. During a Warriors media session during the 2020-21 season, Kerr told Insider that Curry is basically allowed to shoot whenever he wants.

“Basically, Steph is allowed to shoot anytime, and we encourage him to shoot as often as possible,” Kerr said. “And it really has been since I’ve been here.”

Kerr added, “Obviously we don’t say that to all of our players, but with Steph he’s the best shot in the world.”

Indeed, Poole has unlimited range and, like Curry, little reluctance to shoot.

However, Poole is a career 34 percent shooter out of three. Curry was a career 44% 3-pointer after his first three years in the NBA.

Poole’s rise was particularly telling because he struggled in his first two years in the NBA while also spending time in the G League on the side. In his first two seasons, Poole averaged 10.4 points on just 38% shooting. Warriors players and coaches have spoken openly about how Poole had an unwavering confidence on the pitch even when his performance was not yet up to par.

Kerr told Murdock that he recognized Poole’s talent right away, but didn’t necessarily see a way Poole could become an Impact player.

“He was just all over the map,” Kerr told Poole. “You could see he had ball handling skills but they needed to be streamlined. You can tell he had the talent, but what was he supposed to do with it? And how would he react to the inevitable lumps he was going to take? And honestly, at the time, I had no idea how he was going to do it.

Now Poole is the Warriors’ third-leading scorer and played the fifth-most minutes during this finals heat.

Maybe in the near future he’ll get Kerr’s green light. Finally, there was a time when Kerr reacted to Curry’s shots like this:

You May Also Like