Steve Kerr says he told Warriors star not to impersonate Steph Curry because it’s ‘a dangerous game’

Steve Kerr says he told Warriors star not to impersonate Steph Curry because it's 'a dangerous game'
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  • Jordan Poole has become a star for the Warriors and the third scoring threat.
  • 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 became a reliable option for the Warriors.

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

Poole, 23, had a stellar season in his third year in the league, averaging 18.5 points per game in the regular season. He maintained his playoff point average while increasing his shooting percentages to 53% from the field and 39% on three.

Poole has an incredible scoring ability that sounds a bit like Warriors star Stephen Curry: Poole’s ability to shoot three times on the dribble forces defenses to keep him tight on the perimeter. He uses his grip to beat that pressure, slip through defenders and fire shots at unique angles into the paint. That punch only made the Warriors deeper and harder to guard, giving head coach Steve Kerr a reliable source of offense behind Curry and Klay Thompson.

However, just because Poole can score As Curry, that doesn’t mean the Warriors think he should. Kerr told Logan Murdock of The Ringer that throughout Poole’s career he had to gently remind the 6-foot-4 shooting guard to play a little less boldly than the Warriors’ two-time MVP.

“I give him little hints all the time, and things that I wouldn’t tell Steph about shot selection, I will tell Jordan because Jordan hasn’t earned it yet,” Kerr told Murdock. “In his third year, his 3-point percentage is not Steph’s. And so without trying to thwart him and prevent him from being himself, I’m trying to push to a really high percentage. rather than imitating Steph. It’s a dangerous game to imitate Steph.”

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

Steve Kerr and Jordan Poole.

Jeff Chiu/AP Images

Over the years, Kerr has learned to accept Curry’s bold take and even encourage it. During a Warriors media session during the 2020-21 season, Kerr told Insider that Curry was basically allowed to shoot whenever he wanted.

“Basically, Steph is allowed to shoot whenever he wants, 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, you know, he’s the best shooter on the planet.”

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

However, Poole is a career 34 percent shooter on three. Curry was a career 44% three-point shooter after his first three years in the NBA.

Poole’s emergence was particularly telling as he struggled through his first two years in the NBA, spending time in the G League along the way. In his first two seasons, Poole averaged 10.4 points on just 38% shooting. Warriors players and coaches have been open about how unwavering confidence Poole has on the pitch, even though his production has yet to measure up.

Kerr told Murdock that he recognized Poole’s talent right away, but didn’t necessarily see the path for Poole to 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 strengthened. You can tell he had the talent but what was he going to do with it? And how was he going to react to the inevitable bumps he was going to take? And, frankly, I had no idea at the time how he would do that.

Now Poole is the Warriors’ third-leading scorer, playing the fifth-most minutes in this final.

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

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