Jordan Bell

Warriors fan can't tell Kelenna Azubuike and Jordan Bell apart

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AP

Warriors fan can't tell Kelenna Azubuike and Jordan Bell apart

Kelenna Azubuike, 33, played his first four seasons in the NBA with the Warriors starting in the 2006-07 season. He hasn't played professionally since the 2011-12 season and is now a Warriors analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area. 

Jordan Bell, 22, is a Warriors rookie who the team took with the No. 38 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft after Golden State bought the pick from the Bulls. 

Someone might want to tell this Warriors fan that Azubuike and Bell are two different people, 11 years apart. 

As Azubuike stood next to the Larry O'Brien trophy, a Warriors fan was sure she snapped a picture of the team's new rookie. She didn't. And the former Oregon Duck let her know, giving teammate Andre Iguodala a good laugh. 

LeBron James gives Jordan Bell crash course in Grown Man-ism

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Instagram/1jordanbell

LeBron James gives Jordan Bell crash course in Grown Man-ism

OAKLAND -- Warriors rookie Jordan Bell received his introduction to the NBA months before opening night and weeks before his first training camp.

For that, he can thank none other than LeBron James, who may or may not have been aware of being playfully dissed by Bell during a video on the night of the NBA draft.

Bell recently shared his “Welcome to the NBA” moment with NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We had an open gym in LA, at UCLA, and I was guarding him the whole time,” Bell recalled of a session last month. “It’s different than what you see on TV. It’s waaaay different.”

Bell is a 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward, James a 6-9, 260-pound specimen who defies a conventional position. Insofar as Bell is 22 and James 32, this was a crash course in Grown Man-ism.

“It’s crazy how big he is, how quick he is for his size and how smart he is,” Bell recalled. “He was standing straight up, and I’m thinking he can’t go by me if he’s standing straight up. I’m in a good defensive stance. He’s not crouching.

“But there he goes. I’m not going to say he got by me, but I didn’t realize he was so quick. For him to be standing straight up, there’s no way he should be able to move that fast. I’d understand that quickness if he got lower, but I’ve never seen anybody so quick while standing straight up.”

The University of Oregon product believes he avoided embarrassment, though he clearly was the student to James’ teacher.

“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.”

Bell did have at least one ally, Warriors teammate Draymond Green, who is acutely familiar with the futility that can come with battling with LeBron.

“Draymond was on my team,” Bell said, “and he was just like, ‘Look, you can’t do nothing about that. Just worry about the next play.’ But he also said if LeBron is taking those types of shots, that’s what we want because we’re going to make more 3s than he makes 2s.”

Bell said he left the workout trying to imagine what it must have been like to deal with James five or six years ago, when he was in his mid-20s.

“Back when he was in Miami, it looked like he was quicker than everybody else and stronger than everybody else,” Bell said of James.

Not a lot has changed, really, as James remains the single most physically imposing force in the league. Bell now knows why.

“I know they’re not all like that,” he said. “But, obviously, this is not college any more.”

Rookie class gives Warriors big man Jordan Bell a lot of respect

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USATI

Rookie class gives Warriors big man Jordan Bell a lot of respect

Remember when Jordan Bell was considered a good bet to go in the first round of the NBA Draft, but fell to No. 38?

Yeah. That happened.

And according to the 39 rookies who took part in NBA.com's annual survey, the Warriors got a good one.

"Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected?"

1) Donovan Mitchell, 13th pick, Jazz -- 18.9 percent
2) Dennis Smith Jr, 9th pick, Mavericks -- 13.5 percent
3) John Collins, 19th pick, Hawks -- 12.2 percent
4) Jordan Bell, 38th pick, Warriors -- 10.8 percent
5) Kyle Kuzma, 27th pick, Lakers -- 9.5 percent

"Which rookie is the best defender?"

1) Josh Jackson, Suns -- 26.3 percent
2) Jordan Bell, Warriors -- 23.7 percent
3) Donovan Mitchell, Jazz -- 21.1 percent
4) De'Aaron Fox, Kings -- 10.5 percent

During NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Bell averaged 5.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.6 blocks.

Against Minnesota on July 11, he racked up five points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 6 blocks.

He was the 2016-17 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and blocked 8 shots against Kansas in the Elite 8.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller