Inside Jordan Poole’s tense post-Game 4 locker room media availability

Inside JP’s tense post-Game 4 locker room media availability originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors needed the good version of Jordan Poole to step up Monday night, but the fourth-year NBA guard failed to score in 10 minutes of action in Golden State‘s 104-101 Game 4 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at Arena.

With the Warriors’ 2022-23 season on the brink as they try to dig out of a three-games-to-one series hole, only coach Steve Kerr, and guards Gary Payton II and Steph Curry spoke to reporters at the podium following the game.

Poole, though, was approached by reporters in the visiting locker room, and he reluctantly talked for roughly two minutes.

NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke was in the room. During “Warriors Postgame Live,” she provided a glimpse of what the scene was like inside the tight quarters of the locker room.

“I happened to be in the locker room when Jordan Poole spoke. It’s been a while since he spoke but before we get to the words he said, let me just paint a picture of what that locker room was like. So Warriors PR was coming over and saying ‘Jordan, would you please talk postgame?’ He seemed a little reluctant. You could tell he was very frustrated. He was facing his locker, actually, so as the reporters gathered around him, when it became clear he would talk to us, his back was to us.

“So we’re all kind of around him, the sides of him. He turned his music off for us, but that locker room, the visitors locker room is really cramped, so when that music went off, all the other players were listening as well. You could see Andrew Wiggins. There was [Kevon] Looney right near by and then GP2 came to the locker. It was like all eyes and ears were on Jordan right there. And it just heightened the tension.

“So, what did Jordan end up saying? Because we need to acknowledge that this hasn’t been a great series for him, maybe not even a great postseason for him. Something has happened to his shot. It’s just not there. We know that he has a good shot but why is he struggling now? Why is he a little bit uncomfortable.

“Just reviewing some of the things he said. It was some pretty short answers. ‘My shot. I don’t know. If I knew, I’d tell you.’ He didn’t want to talk about himself. He kept saying we have a game in a couple of days. I asked him, I was like ‘Jordan, we know your work ethic is good. When you feel like you’re in a little bit of a funk, when things don’t seem normal, what are you doing? Are you getting back in the gym?’ He said, ‘Well, my work ethic doesn’t change, my routine doesn’t change. Maybe opportunity changes but you can only control what you can control.’

“So the frustration very clear coming through from Jordan Poole. And then when we all backed out, the music started again and there was some tension-breaking laughter in the room as reporters and Jordan kind of digested what happened in the game.”

After scoring 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting in the Warriors’ Game 1 loss to the Lakers, Poole has scored a total of 11 points over the last three games on 5-of-19 shooting from the field.

RELATED: Steph remains confident Poole will break out of playoff slump

Despite Poole’s struggles, Curry made it clear that the entire team deserves blame for how they’ve played against the Lakers.

“We get questions about him a lot, and our whole team, we’re in this together in the sense of trying to figure out how to win playoff games,” Curry told reporters after the game. “We all have to make adjustments. We all have to play better considering we’re in a 3-1 hole. So there’s no sense in isolating him in this situation. It’s all about collective, what can we all do to be better.

“The conversations we have in the film sessions, on the bench, in the locker room are all consistent throughout the season, especially in this playoff run of trying to answer that question. So he’s a part of that. We’re all a part of that. And if we’re going to get out of this hole, we all have to play better.”

Poole, Curry and the Warriors will look to extend their season Wednesday when they host the Lakers in Game 5 at Chase Center. Another performance like the one they put forth Monday and they will head into an uncertain offseason that could see key pieces from the dynasty leave.

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