Iguodala: Jordan Poole becoming leader for Wizards, primed for career year


About two months have passed since the Warriors traded Jordan Poole to the Washington Wizards in a deal to get Chris Paul, but JP is staying connected with the Dubs.

We’ve seen Poole work out with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson this offseason and it sounds like he’s still in frequent communication with Andre Iguodala.

Iguodala appeared on the latest episode of the “Gil’s Arena” podcast with Gilbert Arenas, Josiah Johnon and Rashad McCants and discussed Poole’s four years with the Warriors and how he’s entering a new stage of his career with the Wizards. Iguodala thinks Poole is set up to have a career year.

“He was the only one that got to the (free throw) line for us consistently,” Iguodala said. “People act like he had a bad year. Like, OK he had a bad year? You blame him for the year we had last year and he averaged 20? And they (the Wizards) have no expectations for winning. Twenty-five plus (points per game) easy.”

Iguodala also joked that Poole could put on a show for the courtside ladies in D.C.

“Then at home, you gotta give him the whistle at home,” Iguodala said. “He’s gonna average 30 at home. You know it’s Chocolate City, so you know they’re gonna be in the stands. You know they have the memes – every time he see a bad chick he goes for 40.”

So the players have seen the JP baddie memes. Good stuff.

Poole was a meme factory with the Warriors, where he was able to build a brand for himself despite playing with a roster that included Steph, Klay and Draymond Green. Iguodala thinks Poole will be able to take advantage of being the leading man in D.C., as he’s set to team up with Kyle Kuzma.

“Not saying he was in handcuffs, but he was playing with three Hall of Famers and an All-Star (Andrew) Wiggins,” Iguodala said of Poole. “You gotta restrict him a little bit or it’ll be too chaotic. It’s already chaos.”

Along with more opportunity comes more responsibility. The 24-year-old Poole leaves a locker room full of leaders and joins a Wizards club that is seeking a new identity after trading away Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis in the offseason.

Instead of being the little brother, Poole is gonna have to step up into a big brother role.

“I talk to him to this day,” Iguodala said. “I said, ‘You gotta grow up now. You got your own team and it comes with some responsibility. You’ve been in environments where it’s really controlled and everybody’s cool and everybody’s in line.’ Like, man, it really ain’t like this in the NBA. ...

“He’s already starting to make the right strides. I’ve heard about what he’s been doing with his teammates. I just sat with him the other day and was asking him about his teammates. He knew everything about every one of them. I was like, ‘OK. Now we’re starting off on the right path.’ He’s tapped in. I think he brought him all out to LA. Like he did it. Like he’s leading them.”

That’s quite a departure from the immature picture of Poole that we got from reports this past season.

Poole’s four-year, $123 million extension is set to begin this fall, but Iguodala said JP won’t be content with the new money.

“He’s a smart kid,” Iguodala said. “He knows 120 starts next year but then 200 comes in four years. So he’s one of them guys, like, ‘I’m playing for the next one.’ He ain’t gonna stop on this contract.”

Keep up with 106.7 The Fan via:
Audacy App Online Stream Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Keep up with 980 The Team via:
Audacy App  |  Online Stream  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Instagram

Featured Image Photo Credit: Kiyoshi Mio/USA TODAY Sports