We’ve heard the most heart-warming stories on how NBA players achieved their dream of making it to the best basketball league in the world. Whether they were drafted or went another route, the narratives they possess continue to inspire those harboring similar dreams. Like most NBA players, Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole also has an interesting story himself — and his involves a thumbtack.
Poole’s NBA dreams took seed when he was around 12 or 13 years old. His father, Anthony Poole, was well-aware of how difficult the road to the Association would be. Let’s note that the league comprises just 450 players at any given point in the season. As such, Anthony tried out devious methods to motivate his son. After a basketball tourney, Anthony told Jordan that he needed to put in more work if he wanted to don an NBA jersey. Otherwise, he would end up somewhere else.
“As we got to the house, I said, ‘Hey, you say you want to go to the league. That tournament was good. You did OK. But it was BS. You’re not putting in the effort to get where you want to get to. You’ll be lucky if you’re an overseas player.’ I said it to motivate him. To get him pissed,”
Anthony Poole, NBC Sports
Anthony’s words made a profound impact on Jordan. His father’s words carried nothing but the truth. We’ve all heard of the top college prospects getting picked by an NBA team but never once played in an NBA game. Many can be found playing overseas. There’s nothing wrong with it. They still get to play the sport they love for a living. It’s just that this is not how Jordan envisioned his basketball career to be.
“What Jordan did was,” Anthony says, breaking into laughter, “go and write down what I said. He took a thumb tack and put it on his bedroom door. I could see it every time I walked past his room. He had it up there for about a year and a half.”
Jordan himself remembered that moment with clarity. He was probably pissed that his very own dad thought he wasn’t good enough. However, he perfectly understood the reason behind those words.
“Obviously, at the time, he didn’t think I’d be good enough to go to the league. I had to prove him wrong.”
Jordan Poole, NBC Sports
A decade since his father’s searing motivational words, Jordan is now in his third year in the league. The catch is, the Milwaukee native isn’t just your average young player jumping from team to team or trying his best to be part of the rotation. Poole is an intrinsic part of a Golden State Warriors team poised to win it all. Definitely not a profile of an overseas player.