Jordan Poole ‘misunderstood’ from Warriors tenure, Kyle Kuzma believes – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

Jordan Poole’s tenure with the Warriors can be encapsulated with numerous adjectives, but Kyle Kuzma, the new teammate of Poole in the Washington Wizards, believes he was widely misunderstood during his time in the Bay Area.

In an appearance on the “Some Dude Show” podcast, Kuzma defended Poole’s character and commended his leadership qualities throughout the offseason.

“He’s incredibly misunderstood,” Kuzma asserted. “We can only judge based on what we know. It’s easy to have an outsider’s perspective, but when you truly know him, you’ll realize that even though he may have seemed immature during his time with Golden State, he is one of the most dedicated athletes I’ve ever encountered. He puts in the work at the gym, takes care of his body, and maintains a focused mindset.”

“We’ve played a couple of preseason games together, and we always call each other afterwards to discuss the game. It’s rare to find this level of camaraderie and genuine care in today’s NBA. Jordan is genuinely misunderstood. He possesses incredible talent and a captivating showmanship. If you want to witness a player who dribbles like a Harlem Globetrotter and takes insane three-point shots, he’s the one to watch.”

The Warriors drafted Poole in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft. He underwent a transformation from a struggling rookie to a significant contributor on a championship-winning team. However, an altercation with Draymond Green prior to the start of last season and subsequent trade to the Washington Wizards resulted in a rupture in his relationship with the team.

Although the incident with Green appeared to have the greatest impact on team chemistry, rumors of Poole’s attitude and immaturity contributed to the eventual separation.

Veteran forward Andre Iguodala, who served as a mentor to Poole during his four-year stint with the Warriors, didn’t hold back when he advised Poole after the trade. The four-time champion told Poole that he needed to mature now that he had his “own team,” and being the face of a franchise brought immense responsibility. This was something Poole didn’t have to worry about in Golden State, but with the Wizards, it’s a different story.

So far, it seems that Poole has heeded Iguodala’s words. The two maintain regular contact, and Iguodala has already noticed a change.

“He’s already making strides in the right direction,” Iguodala shared on the “Gil’s Arena” podcast in August. “I’ve heard about his interactions with his new teammates. The other day, I asked him about his teammates, and he knew details about each and every one of them. I thought, ‘Okay, we’re starting off on the right foot.’

“He even brought them all to LA. He’s showing true leadership.”

In addition to the praise from Iguodala and Kuzma, Poole demonstrated his capabilities through his performance with the Wizards.

In the Wizards’ 131-106 preseason victory against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Poole erupted for 41 points on 10-of-19 shooting in just 27 minutes. He made 6 of 12 three-pointers and sank 15 of 16 free throws. Additionally, he contributed five rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

The young guard is clearly enthusiastic about starting a new chapter with a fresh team in a different city, where he hopes to create his own narrative and dispel any misconceptions surrounding him.

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