San Francisco — Jordan Poole has an Instagram account, but only to watch videos of cats. He doesn’t like to spend a lot of time online.
So while many people sheltered-in-place are thumbing endlessly through their iPhones, Poole, a former Michigan standout, is finding other ways to stay busy at his San Francisco home. A self-described homebody, his routine hasn’t changed much. Other than, of course, no longer playing basketball. Having scored double-digit points in 12 of his final 13 games, the Warriors’ first-round pick was playing his best basketball of his rookie season before it abruptly came to an end.
With the NBA season on an indefinite hiatus after a player tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month, the Bay Area News Group caught up with Poole, who had just gotten in from a walk before answering the phone.
Question: How’s your family doing? Are you in touch with them a lot?
Answer: They’re good. Everybody’s good. I’m not on my phone too much but we definitely talk over FaceTime, text every couple of days. But, yeah, my mom will make sure she checks up on me. She texts me everyday, it’s just a matter of whether or not I call her or talk to her over FaceTime.
Q: What are you doing to pass the time?
A: Man, I take naps, I watch Netflix, Hulu and play with my cats. Me and my brother and my roommate, we play games, watch movies and go out on our balcony and just chill. Get a little bit of fresh air. We keep ourselves occupied. This is pretty much my forte. This is how I operate, for sure.
Q: Because you would consider yourself a homebody?
A: Yeah, yeah. It’s kind of like I’m welcoming everybody into my lifestyle. See if they can live this lifestyle.
Q: What are you watching on Netflix?
A: I’m watching “You” right now. That’s pretty hectic, oh my god. Just a lot of old movies, stuff like that.
Q: Have you watched “Tiger King” yet?
A: Nah, I have not, I have not, but I might have to check that out.
Q: With the season on hiatus, did you have to change any of your summer plans?
A: The only thing that is confusing is not knowing the schedule or timetable because everything could be pushed back or everything can be changed. But I didn’t plan on going anywhere or doing anything too specific until the season was over.
Q: Other than the NBA, are you going to miss any of these other sports or events that were canceled or postponed?
A: I love watching the college World Series, I definitely like watching softball as well. March Madness was going to be cool of course, but that’s basketball. The college World Series is something sports-related that I was really looking forward to.
Q: How did you get into college baseball?
A: I would watch the games when we were in school (at Michigan), go support my guys on the team, but I was really locked into the World Series. Those games get pretty rowdy.
Q: With not being able to go to the facility anymore, what are some of the challenges of trying to stay in basketball shape?
A: I mean, just not being able to shoot is huge. Not being able to go through the physical process of just getting up shots. As far as being inside, it kind of takes you back to being a kid and you got to find out how to get better in any way that you can and find ways to keep yourself occupied or stay on top of stuff. It’s not bad, it definitely could be way worse, but just trying to find ways to keep yourself occupied.
Q: Is there anything you can do as far as exercises?
A: Yeah, there’s all sorts of stuff you can do. You can go for a run outside, you can do real workouts in the house. You didn’t always have access to a gym or being able to go lift, so there are things you would do at home or outside as a kid. So my way of staying in shape is doing things of that nature.
Q: Anything specific you’re doing?
A: That’s non-disclosed information. I’m keeping that close to my chest. Trying to stay as active as I can within our circumstances.
Q: Fair enough. How much are you in contact with your coaches and your teammates?
A: I talk to them pretty solid. They call me and check up on me, the coaching staff and training staff and the front office, they do a really good job of maintaining a relationship.
Q: And teammates?
A: Everybody does their own thing. I hit Eric (Paschall) up on FaceTime quite a bit, and might play a game. But I’ve always been kind of solo, to myself. If I get on (to play a video game), I’ll call somebody.
Q: Have you developed any new hobbies?
A: Not for real. I’m just tightening up the hobbies I have now – doing a little bit of online shopping, cleaning a little bit in the crib, organizing stuff, Spring cleaning, stuff like that.
Q: The last time reporters were at Chase Center, we were talking to the team about playing games without fans. Hours later, when Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, the NBA announced the season was canceled. What do you remember about that night?
A: It was more like ‘Uh, what do we do now? What’s next? How long does this last?’ No one wanted to put any sort of timetable on it. It’s really hard to put it into words. You didn’t know what to expect and it caught you by surprise, it caught you off guard. I don’t think anyone was prepared for it. At the same time, everybody on the team, the organization, the players, were trying to be in cohesiveness. But you didn’t know if this was the end of your season or how big it will get in terms of the outbreak, if this is like a zombie apocalypse. You never know.
Q: When did it feel like this was really serious for you?
A: Probably when they canceled the (Thunder-Jazz) game was when I knew it was serious. Because you rarely ever cancel games. It’s one thing to play without any fans, but when they canceled the entire game is when I knew it was going to be serious.
Q: After seeing Steph Curry do his question-and-answer session with Dr. Anthony Fauci this morning, what would you say to anybody not taking this pandemic seriously?
A: It’s bigger than us at this point in time. It’s bigger than basketball, it’s bigger than sports. This is a world dilemma, people are losing their lives. Obviously we took extreme precautions as a country to make sure the outbreak isn’t as big as it could be and I know it’s really hard and it’s really strange for people to stop what they’re doing and stop going to work and the routines that they have, but I think if we want to be safer, if we want to be in the best situation that we can be, then we have to abide by the protocols. Stay indoors, wash your hands, and social distancing is a real-life thing because it’s bigger than you and a lot of people can be affected by it. There is so much uncertainty right now, so if the only certainty that we have is to follow a couple of rules, then we should focus on that.
Q: For somebody whose job is to play in front of fans, how much are you looking forward to when you can play again?
A: Extremely. It’s fun playing basketball and when the one thing you really enjoy is taken away from you, it challenges you to do other things and become more of a person and find out who you are as an individual. But for me and all the other guys in the league, we love playing basketball and we can’t wait to get back out there.