Dame Lillard Sounds off on Wild First Interaction With Warriors’ Poole

Jordan Poole Klay Thompson Warriors-Jazz

Getty Golden State Warriors stars Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole embrace following a win over the Utah Jazz.

Although he has cooled off significantly over the last two games, Jordan Poole’s star turn has definitely continued into postseason play for the Golden State Warriors. Over five games against the Nuggets, the 22-year-old averaged an impressive 21.0 points, 5.4 assists and 1.4 steals per contest.

It has been an incredible rise to prominence for Poole, who entered the NBA as a 28th overall pick, came off the bench and even spent time in the G League before blowing up this season.

During an appearance on the April 26 episode of The Colin Cowherd Podcast, Blazers star Damian Lillard — whose own meteoric rise has become the stuff of legend in NBA circles — was asked if Poole’s ascension caught him off guard.

The question prompted the recounting of a wild trash-talking saga between the two players during the 2019-20 campaign from Dame.

The Verbal Battle

“I wouldn’t say I was caught off guard, because I really didn’t pay attention to him until maybe like two years ago,” Lillard confessed to Cowherd. However, the way in which Poole announced himself to the baller was high comedy.

During a November 2019 game between the two clubs, a fledgling Poole was pressed into service with multiple Dubs stars sitting out. And, according to Lillard, he wasn’t content to simply let his game do the talking.

“We was playing against them and he wasn’t playing a lot of minutes, but he like did a move, and he like scored on me. He hit a shot, he hit a three and he started talking s**t. And I was like, ‘I don’t talk s**t. I don’t say nothing, I just play. If somebody say something to me, I’ll say something back, but whatever.”

Poole was apparently undeterred.

“Towards the end of the first half or whatever, I’m at the free throw line, and he’s just back there talking,” Lillard said. “So I turn to him, and I’m like, ‘Man, shut the f**k… like shut up. He was like, ‘Make me.’ So, my natural instinct was like, ‘Bro, I train in combat. I’m from Oakland. That was my natural. So, we start going back-and-forth.”

In the end, the shorthanded Warriors stole the win from Portland, 127-118 and Poole scored 16 points (although he was 3-of-16 from the floor). Lillard, meanwhile, dropped a game-high 39 in a losing effort.

Two months and change later, though, the teams met up again and Golden State was less successful, as Dame went full-on supernova. Nevertheless, Poole got his licks in once again.

“I started the game real slow. He’s on the bench and he says, ‘Oh, he ain’t on s**t tonight,’” Lillard revealed. “Draymond is sitting next to him, and me and Draymond is real cool. In that game, I end up scoring 60 points, and we beat them in Portland, and I just remember telling Draymond, ‘Man, I don’t mess with that dude like that, like I don’t like him.'”

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Poole Caught Dame’s Attention, Though

Poole may have made a lousy first impression on the six-time All-Star, but his antics did put him on Lillard’s radar. At that point, the youngster’s game began speaking volumes to Dame, too.

“From those interactions, I paid more attention to him, and as I paid more attention to him, I started to notice his game more, like, ‘Oh, he’s actually got something to him.’ And he’s got confidence about him. So I can’t say he caught me by surprise, but it is impressive to see the growth that I think, coming under Draymond and Steph, and Klay (Thompson), you can definitely see the impact that they’ve had on him.”


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