When it’s all said and done Jordan Bell has a chance to be one of the hidden gems of the 2017 NBA Draft. After being drafted in the second round (38th overall) by the Chicago Bulls, he was traded to the Golden State Warriors the same night. The trade was a gift and a curse. On the rebuilding Bulls, Bell would’ve likely gotten minutes and maybe even a shot at starting. On the defending champs, the former Oregon Duck’s NBA training will mostly consist of observing during games and working hard during practice. Playing time is scarce on a deep and talented team, but he also gets to understudy behind some of the best players with championship pedigree. Bell has time on his side at just 22 years old. He has some of the best teachers in the world, players such as Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and others. Those players, in particular, will play a pivotal role in his development on the defensive side of the ball which will make him into a valuable member of any roster. He’s shown flashes of what he’s capable of in the limited amount of minutes that he’s played in. We recently sat down with Bell for a quick chat as the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us.
What is it like playing on a team featuring a quartet of All-Stars?
It’s great playing on this team, we have guys who’ve won multiple rings and have been through the wars. We also have guys like Nick Young and JaVale McGee who keeps the locker room going with their jokes. It’s a real fun environment here.
Have any of the veterans in the locker room given you any guidance?
They teach me a lot, I’m still learning the game because it’s very different from college. Everything is different from defending, ball screens coverages and things like that.
Being a rookie is tough, you have to fight for minutes and prove that you belong in the NBA. How would you describe your role on the team?
The same role I always had as a basketball player, just defend the paint, rebound the ball, and being an all-around glue guy.
For most rookies adjusting seems to be the toughest thing for them. What’s your biggest adjustment from college to the NBA?
Not playing a lot of minutes have been hard on me, but I’m working through it and working hard every day. My minutes are out of my control.
You have a reputation as a high flyer. Any thoughts of entering the dunk contest?
If they send an invite, I’ll take it. It’s in LA, my hometown so I’ll put on a show.
How did you handle the criticism you received after you threw the ball off the backboard against Dallas?
I didn’t really care. Some people didn’t like it, but I didn’t pay any attention to it. My teammates, coaches and our fans loved it—that’s all that mattered.
A big debate around Thanksgiving is food. What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
I’ll probably go with my mom’s sweet potato pie.
If you can invite five people, living or dead, to sit together at the Thanksgiving table. Who would it be?
Tupac, Malcolm X, Obama, Snoop Dogg…and Donald Trump—just to make it weird.