Former Warriors guard Jordan Poole is building something new across the country in Washington, D.C. But before playing his first regular-season game in a Wizards jersey, he believes his basketball legacy already is set in stone thanks his accomplishments across four years in the Bay Area.
“Playing the game I love at the highest level, my family is taken care of, my basketball legacy is taken care of with the [championship] ring,” Poole said to The Ringer’s Logan Murdock. “This is probably the first time in my life I’ll play basketball with no pressure. So that’s kind of how you look at it.
“But [playing in Washington] is a really good opportunity. It’s a cool opportunity, dope opportunity.”
Poole went from being a first-round draft pick to G League player to championship contributor in his first three seasons with the Warriors. He took a giant leap forward in 2021-22 and had a monster impact on the Warriors’ 2022 championship, filling in for superstar guard Steph Curry when needed and otherwise providing the team with a spark off the bench.
When Curry missed the Warriors’ final 12 regular-season games that year, Poole started all 12 contests and averaged 25.8 points on 37.4 percent shooting from 3-point range. He guided the team to five straight wins heading into the playoffs.
Poole was at his best in the postseason, too. He started all five first-round games against the Denver Nuggets and led the team in scoring in Game 1. He also scored 31 points in a Western Conference semifinal win over the Memphis Grizzlies. In the NBA Finals, Poole averaged 13.2 points on 38.5 percent shooting from 3-point range against the Boston Celtics.
He more than earned his championship ring.
Now, Poole is tasked with being a leader on the Wizards, using the tools he learned from Curry, who has filled that role with Golden State since being drafted in 2009.
“As a basketball player, as a kid you want to grow up and be the face of the franchise,” Poole said earlier this month. “It’s a really cool situation because I feel like I’ve learned, I’ve asked a lot of questions to be prepared for this moment.
If Poole can build a consistent winner in Washington — an organization that hasn’t advanced past the Western Conference semifinals since 1979 — it would greatly add to his on-court legacy.
Christine Lake is a sports fanatic who lives and breathes athletics. With an extensive background in sports journalism, he covers everything from major league championships to grassroots sports events. When she’s not on the field or at the stadium, you’ll find Christine coaching youth sports teams.