Warriors rookie Jordan Bell in awe after guarding LeBron James
Golden State Warriors incoming rookie Jordan Bell has yet to step foot on an NBA court but already has confronted one of the most challenging and daunting tasks in professional basketball: Guarding LeBron James.
Bell was selected by Warriors with the 38th pick in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft mostly due to his defensive prowess. And said admirable skills on that end of the court did not prepare him one bit for guarding LeBron James during a recent pickup game in California. Suffice to say, Bell’s experience playing against James was enlightening to say the least.
“We had an open gym in LA, at UCLA, and I was guarding him the whole time,” Bell recalled of going mano-a-mano against James last month, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “It’s different than what you see on TV. It’s waaaay different.”
Bell of course isn’t the first — nor the last — player to receive a baptism by fire by guarding James. And the 22-year-old out of Oregon detailed what it is like to try to shut down James in the low post, out on the perimeter, or, well, anywhere on the court. Bell was left stunned by James’ size, quickness and basketball I.Q.
Bell nevertheless feels he did an acceptable job during his first go-round against James.
“I thought I did a pretty good job on him, but he obviously hit some shots,” Bell said. “But he would get on the block, and I’m containing him, not letting him back me down, and he would fade away from the block to the 3-point line — and make it. And I just played the best defense of my life. It didn’t matter.”
Again, Bell is not the first NBA player to experience such a rude awakening courtesy of James. And he definitely won’t be the last, either.